Brussels - BOZAR - GEO-graphics20/04/2010
GEO-GRAPHICS: A MAP OF ART PRACTICES IN AFRICA, PAST AND PRESENT
June 9 - September 26, 2010
No fewer than 17 African countries celebrate 50 years of independence in 2010. To mark the occasion, BOZAR and the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren are organising Visionary Africa, a multi disciplinay festival of which GEO-graphics. A Map of Art Practices in Africa, Past and Present is the keynote exhibition. In this exhibition ethnographic art enters into a visual and narrative dialogue with contemporary art, thereby offering a fine overview of the enormous wealth and diversity of visual creativity on the continent.
A total of 220 objects from Belgian private and museum ethnographic collections span the period from the 16th to the 20th century. This extensive selection includes masks, fetish images, anthropomorphic and zoomorphic sculpture, household effects and furniture, implements, musical instruments, and more. One highlight is the paintings on glass or "suweer", a typical folk art form from Senegal, with often naive pictures depicting religious subjects or scenes from daily life.
For the first time, these traditional works of art are looked at in relation to contemporary cultural life in Africa. Over the last ten years independent initiatives have emerged here and there on the continent. Eight of these centres for contemporary art have been invited to Brussels: Doual'art (Douala, Cameroon), La Rotonde des Arts (Abidjan, Ivory Coast), Centre for Contemporary Art Lagos (CCA Lagos) (Lagos, Nigeria), Centre for Contemporary Art East Africa Nairobi (CCAEA Nairobi) (Nairobi, Kenya), Picha (Lubumbashi, Congo), Darb 1718 (Cairo, Egypt), Appartement 22 (Rabat, Morocco), and Raw Material Company (Dakar, Senegal). Each of these centres occupies a space within the exhibition, in which it presents its own artistic identity and shows work by "its" African artists.
Image: George Osodi, Oil Riche Delta Niger series, At the Border, 2007