The Manege Central Exhibition Hall (St. Petersburg), Triumph Gallery (Moscow), and Béton Center of Visual Culture (Moscow) are pleased to present Reversed Safari. Contemporary African Art. The exhibition is opened until September 3, 2023.
The project showcases a wide array of contemporary African art and its main artistic movements that have been developing over the past 60 years after the countries of the continent gained independence.
The title of the exhibition refers to the need to reconsider the established one-dimensional view of African art.
The first large-scale exhibition of contemporary African art in Russia brings together the works of 49 African and 14 Russian artists, African artifacts from the collection of the V. D. Polenov Educational Initiatives Fund, as well as books, essays, and photographs of exhibitions that revealed the originality of African art to the Western audience.
Reversed Safari represents a variety of mediums, among which are painting, sculpture, photography, and comprises over 300 exhibits, including 9 video installations and 3 large-scale installations created specifically for the project.
These works explore colonial heritage, mechanisms of cultural interaction, everyday life, and the search for identity and the practices of self-determination.
In the exhibition space, they will enter into a dialogue with traditional African art.
The works of Russian artists visualize the changing perception of the African region.
“Until the middle of the 20th century, the art of African countries was perceived as an ethnographic or anthropological element, devoid of aesthetic value, and in recent years it has sometimes been considered a way to inform the Western audience of the realities of a different culture. Such a view reinforces stereotypes about Africa and forces us to perceive the artists solely through the prism of their ethnicity. When we say ‘reversed’, we mean our way of working: we gave artists the freedom of self-presentation.”
Alessandro Romanini, curator, one of the world's leading experts in African art