A history of contemporary African art? Not at all. Rather a performative history of this notion that has been so controversial for so long! Such is the subject of this anthology conceived and introduced by Cédric Vincent, a researcher in social anthropology and a specialist in pan-African festivals.
How can the perimeter of contemporary African art be opened, defined, and defended? How can the succession of these panoramic exhibitions, initiated in 1989 by Magiciens de la terre (Paris) and The Other Story (London), which provoked curatorial debates and processes of inclusion, be analyzed? How can the endogenous creation of the countries of the African continent and that of their diasporas, as well as their mutual apprehensions be articulated? Far from approaching contemporary African art as a stabilized category, this book proposes a polyphonic genealogy to decipher the secular development of an aesthetic notion, closely following its semantic battles, institutional confrontations, and geopolitical issues over the decades. Giving a voice to the various protagonists who have animated one of the most controversial artistic fields, this anthology offers a heuristic journey, by successive leaps, in order to understand a notion that remains, even today, a place of ideological debate.
This volume is the eighth title of the “Lectures maison rouge” series, directed by Patricia Falguières and coedited with la Fondation Antoine de Galbert, Paris.