AFRICA, CREATIVE CONTINENT. “MAKING AFRICA – A CONTINENT OF CONTEMPORARY DESIGN”, A MAJOR EXHIBITION THAT DRAWS ATTENTION ON AFRICAN ECONOMIC RENAISSANCE

The Vitra Design Museum in Weil-am-Rhein (Germany) inaugurated at the beginning of the month “Making Africa – A Continent of Contemporary Design”, a major exhibition that draws attention on a too often neglected aspect of African economic renaissance.

Curated by Vitra Curator Amelie Klein, together with Okwui Enwezor (Director of Haus der Kunst in Munich and Director of the 56th Venice Biennale 2015), and in collaboration with the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao; the exhibition “illustrates how design accompanies and fuels economic and political changes on the continent. Africa is presented as a hub of experimentation generating new approaches and solutions of worldwide relevance – and as a driving force for a new discussion of the potential of design in the twenty-first century.”

“Making Africa” gathers a comprehensive body of work from over 120 artists and designers, showcasing a full range of creative formats such as furniture design, photography, sculpture, architecture, animation.

The exhibition presents a production that goes well beyond the stereotyped image of African handcraft, showing a continent whose creative output has been on the edge and has set the mood for decades.

Modern but without rejecting tradition, works reveal a strong obligation to history, combining a sophisticated formal and aesthetic approach with social commentary.

Working on this parallelism, the exhibition places side by side contemporary pieces with historical documents, taking the spectator back to the early years of independence when the spark of creativity represented a statement to the will of declare one’s own identity.

“Making Africa – A Continent of Contemporary Design” is the result of a two year fieldwork across the continent. With the creation of think tanks and the engagement of local professionals among designers, artists, researchers, architects, gallerists and curators; the research produced a first-ever extensive body of material on African contemporary design, which is available to the audience in a 352-page publication.

To enrich the exhibition also a programme of events featuring talks, symposia, workshops and film screenings.

Making Africa – A Continent of Contemporary Design

Vitra Design Museum Weil-am-Rhein

14.03. - 13.09.2015

Guggenheim Museum Bilbao - Autumn 2015

April 9, 2015
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