10 June 2015

Vitra Design Museum: “Making Africa” and changing minds

Africa: starving children, war, and if there is art and design, it’s courtesy of “those poor folks” using recycled bean tins that fell off the back of an official UN lorry.

All sarcasm aside, art and design hailing from the continent seems to have a “story,” a story sometimes defined by well meaning, although slightly prone-to-stereotpyical-thinking Westerners.

Making Africa,”  an exhibit showing at the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein (DE) slams the book on that story – finally – and introduces visitors to another chapter..one that has been known to those with a keen interest in art and design from the continent for a while.

I implore you: If you are anywhere in Switzerland or southern Germany, you must see this exhibit. I did. And was astounded.

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The show was curated by Nigerian-born Okwui Enwezor, director of both Haus der Kunst in Munich and the 56th Venice Biennale.

Some of the works hail from brands, artists and designers such as Maki Oh (Nigeria), Cyrus Kabiru (Kenya) and Omar Victor Diop (Senegal).

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“Making Africa” runs until 13 September 2015.

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