Review of ‘AFRIKA’ at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art

An exhibition that will blow your mind

Louisiana has just opened its third exhibition in the series ‘Architecture, culture and identity’ and this burst of colours, spirit and warmth should not be missed.

Following NEW NORDIC (2012) and ARAB (2014), AFRICA gives the viewer an insight into contemporary architecture and lifestyle in sub-Saharan Africa.

A continent on its way
Africa is normally perceived as being a continent cursed by famines, poverty and corruption. If there is anything positive to say in a Western country, it is usually in connection with a street festival featuring drums and dance that does not quite offer an adequate picture. It proves that nothing artificial can ever offer an conclusive picture, because every picture is just a moment within reality, but AFRICA comes pretty close.

By giving a variety of different artists – who can all trace their origins to Sub-Saharan Africa – the space to express themselves, the works create a portrait of a continent that is in an unique stage of development and trying to find its place in between Western lifestyle, tribal traditions and religion, often with a background in massive civil wars and genocide.

From belonging to futures
Seven thematic sections open your eyes to a portrait that you would never had expected.

A bright mix of intense spoken word pieces, video installations, photographs and paintings  offer a space to feel and breathe what it means to live in contemporary Africa.

A great focus is put on the topic of ‘coexistence’, which is especially present in countries like Rwanda that have experienced a violent past of genocide. The relationship between the individual and the community, and in between communities, is a sensitive topic, with often paradox contrasts.

The exhibition recognises this with several amazing pictures, photographs and architectural projects that reflect upon the reconciliatory efforts that have been made and are still taking place – one of the most striking definitely being ‘Voltra Noire – Lopohin #04’ by Jean Claude Moschetti.

Contemporary Art is a medium to make the seemingly unreal real and to explore possibilities that – if broken down – could someday become reality.

So called Afrofuturism is examined in depth among several multimedia installations, with an amazing model of the city of the future, Kinshasa: Project for the Third Millennium’, by Body Isek Kingelez from Congo.

A totally different world?
This collection tries to take away the heavy-hearted image that is often painted by media in reference to Africa and shows there is far more than devastating droughts and warlords. It does this by taking a close look at pop culture, modern architecture and a way of living that seems so far away from us and yet so close in a surreal way.

Do not miss this extraordinary collection of art and let yourself be challenged to see a difference.

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