Bernard Akoi-Jackson (b.1979) is an artist and writer interrogating hybrid post-colonial African identities, through ephemeral make-shift memorials and performative rituals of the mundane. He often becomes the proverbial jester or Esu moving between genres; painting, sculpture, dance, poetry, installation, photography and video to confront the complexities of his specific cultural moment. His work has featured in group and solo exhibitions in venues across Ghana, including the Nubuke Foundation Accra; Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, Legon; Goethe-Institut Accra; Centre for National Culture, Kumasi; Alliance Française, Kumasi, Accra and internationally in Germany at the ACC Galerie, Weimar; Halle 14, Leipzig and Monte dos Ciprestes, Sintra, Portugal.
His work is largely performative, bringing together visual, verbal and textual metaphors. These are then fashioned, in recent time, with elements of video and photography, into participatory, performances or object -based installations. He is particularly interested in the poetic relationships between disparate objects and materials. His strategy navigates a path towards what he calls ‘critical absurdity,’ where jest and play become very potent tools for contemplation and musing.
He was educated in the College of Art, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, from where he holds an MFA in (Painting and Sculpture). After completing an artists residency in Kofi Setordji’sArtHAUS, Accra in 2006, Akoi-Jackson has subsequently facilitated and participated in International Artists’ Workshops like SaNsA in Accra (2007), SaNsA in Kumasi (2009) and Xerem International Artists’ Residency Home & Abroad in Portugal (2010). Bernard Akoi-Jackson’s writing tracks the development of contemporary Ghanaian and African visual art and culture. He is a regular contributor to ArtFOCUS, Accra, and has written essays for several exhibition catalogues among which are Nutata: An exhibition of Drawings by G.W.K. Dawson, (2009) Out of your mind: Dialogues on mental health in Ghana, (2009), Hearing the skies: Paintings by FatricBewong (2010) and Totobieto: Recent Paintings by Kofi Agorsor 2011. Other artists he has written on include Wiz Kudowor, Augustine Gokah, Ato Annan, Dorothy Amenuke, Constance Swaniker and the list continues to grow.