Logótipo Próximo Futuro

To be or not to be [African]... Is that even the question?

Publicado15 Out 2013

Athi Patra-Ruga, Even I Exist in Embo (Photo: Oliver Neubert, retirada do portal Another Africa)

"To Be or Not to Be [African] Is That Even The Question - Identity in Contemporary Art Practice in Africa and the Diaspora" é o primeiro de três artigos do portal Another Africa da série In Focus | Art & Commerce

“African art is an enormous ethical misunderstanding, which I try to take advantage of without aggravating; but this leaves me with only a narrow margin for maneuver. Personally as an artist born in Africa, but with no urge to bear the burden of the African artist, I know that the only opportunities open to me present my work in public outside Africa are of the “ethnic” type, where people assign to me the role of “the other African” in places designed for the kind of seasonal ritual where a certain kind of Africa is “in favour”. It is a situation which is not lacking in ambivalence, and which gives me the impression of being a hostage to this strange machine which integrates African-born artists into the world of art, while at the same time shunting them off into a category apart.” (Hassan Musa)

The use of the term Africa and its artistic production implications led to the question, ‘how can we eclipse the term African?’ Is it a growing trend for artists to counter such a word to define their practice or their person? This line of questioning, a continuation of Another Africa’s three part In Focus series on the contemporary art fair format where we field question to the very protagonists who like Hassan Musa may be affected by such narratives. We ask artists and art practitioners thematically and or aesthetically engaging with Africa to share their thoughts. Is the question to be or not be African after all.

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