Riason NaidooChercheur invité

Mars - avril 2020

Naidoo was director of the South African National Gallery (2009-2015), director of the South Africa-Mali Project on the Timbuktu manuscripts (2003-2009); managed artistic projects at the French Institute of South Africa (2001-2003); lectured in drawing and painting at the University of the Witwatersrand (1999-2000); was in charge of art education at the Durban Art Gallery (1996-1999).

He has a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Painting) and a Master of Fine Arts (Curating) from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and is currently studying for a PhD (Art History) at the University of Cape Town and EHESS in Paris.


  • Contemporary African art & the Diaspora: 1989-2018 in African Art Market Report, 2020 – Paris (forthcoming)
  • Family Stories at Sunday Lunches: Challenging the apartheid representation of the South African Indian via Drum magazine in the 1950s in ‘Minorités et Société’, "Racisme & Eugénisme" book series, (edited by Professor Michel Prum), L'Harmattan, 2020 – Paris (forthcoming)
  • Legends of the Casbah: A photo exhibition and documentary film in the 12th edition of Bamako Encounters - African Biennale of Photography, (30 November, 2019 – 31 January,2020), November 2019 – Editions Balani’s, Bamako in collaboration with Archive Books,Berlin/Dakar
  • "James Barnor, ever young: An interview with Renée Mussai" in Africa is a Country, 7 November 2019 – New York.
  • Mancoba’s genius finally acknowledged in Mail & Guardian, 11 October 2019 - Johannesburg.
  • JP Mika is a Congolese artist in Full Bloom in Mail & Guardian, 9 October 2019 - Johannesburg.
  • JP MIKA-The Flower from Kinshasa, exhibition catalogue, galerie Magnin-A, September, 2019 - Paris.
  • Veteran Ghanaian Photographer James Barnor in his own words in “Un/Invited Guest”, Arles 2019, Les Rencontres de la Photographie. Edition #50. Something we Africans Got, July 2019 - Paris.
  • James Barnor: ‘I’m finally getting recognition' in Mail & Guardian, 28 June 2019 – Johannesburg.
  • Photographer James Barnor – Ever Young at 90 in Mail & Guardian, 21 June 2019 – Johannesburg.
  • To know Jean-Michel Basquiat, look at his art in Mail & Guardian, 11-17 January 2019 - Johannesburg.
  • Basquiat retrospective boasts central masterpieces and never-before-exhibited works in Mail & Guardian, 9 January 2019 - Johannesburg.
  • Katz makes a jump from her mattress in Mail & Guardian, 17-22 August 2018 - Johannesburg.
  • Rethinking a Key Festival of African Art: In conversation with Simon Njami in Mail & Guardian, 15-21 June 2018 - Johannesburg.
  • The great opus of ‘Small Bobby’: Ranjith Kally in Africa is a Country, 13 June 2017 - New York.


With a PhD in law and modern literature—and an accomplished author in both fiction and non-fiction—Simon Njami has been one of the two most prominent curators of contemporary African art in the last two decades, along with recently deceased Okwui Enwezor.

My research investigates Njami’s writings and exhibitions. Njami’s approach has been two-pronged in attempting to challenge the colonial representations of Africa: his written oeuvre on the one hand and his exhibitions of contemporary African art and photography on the other—the textual and the curatorial—ultimately coming together in his latest exhibitions that rely on works of fiction for inspiration and structure.

My examination into Njami’s oeuvre as a writer, novelist and as founding editor of Revue Noire—the journal of contemporary African art published in Paris from 1991-2001—permits the exploration of several themes linked to the entangled notion of the writer as curator, explicitly illustrated via his recent touring exhibition The Divine Comedy – Heaven, Hell, Purgatory by Contemporary African Artists (2014) and the last two Dak’art biennales he curated entitled The City in the Blue Daylight (2016) and The Red Hour (2018) respectively.