Tag Archives: Chokwe

Kendell Geers ventures African mask philosophy

South African conceptual artist Kendell Geers presents African masks in unconventional way to evoke re-evaluation of cultural heritage of the continent, shifting from outdated perception of  “fetish” to artefact, and further to reading the profound philosophical meaning of the ritual objects.

Concluding the exhibition IncarNations (BOZAR, Brussels)  debates took place on contemporary vision of African cultural heritage, and imminent need to shift away from the Colonial era patterns of exoticism to genuine understanding of meaning of African culture. Passionate proponent of African art,  Kendell Geers calls for abandoning Eurocentric system of assessment of cultural heritage, and regarding historic artefacts with African eyes.

Kendell Geers presentations of African masterpieces stretches beyond Africa, pointing to their universal spiritual strength, fearlessly confronting the most sensitive issues of Colonial past, and problems of the present dialogues between East, West and Africa to ensure transformations leading to engagements, empowering Africans, and reconstructing their rich cultural heritage.

The artist reflects upon dramatic history of colonisation of Africa, suggesting “negative” overpowers “positive” in synergy of two continents, until Europeans keep their prejudices and fantasies, and desires rooted in the bygone era.

 

The exhibition IncarNations created by the artist Kendell Geers in co-operation with the Congolese art collector Sindika Dokolo has challenged a traditional outlook on African culture, proposing Afrocentric perspective. It took place in Brussels Art Centre BOZAR from 

 

 

Rare Angola Mask at BOZAR

The rare mask from Angola is at display at BOZAR, Brussels, among the artefacts of the IncarNations exhibition. The “Chihongo” masculine mask, meaning a spirit of wealth, belong to tradition of Chokwe people of Angola, used to honour the male ancestors, believed to have power to bestow prosperity to the worshipers.

The type of masks are traditionally associated with the ancient rituals of the Mukanda school, devoted to young boys passing to manhood.

The mask went missing from Dundo Regional Museum, Angola, during the civil war (1975-2002). The story of the quest to find the mask, presumed stolen, began two years ago, and has been concluded successfully – the artefact has been found, and will be returned to the Angolan authorities.

Before it is sent back to Angola, it is at display at the Centre for Fine Arts as part of the IncarNations exhibition.

The exhibition includes a space devoted to the narrative of ongoing recovery project of the Dundo Museum, where the rare mask is integrated and open to public until the 6th of October.