10 jun 2011

Angola, figures de pouvoir

Exhibition: Angola, figures de pouvoir
Dates: 10 November 2010 to 10 July 2011
Opening times: 11h to 19h every day except Tuesday
Place: Musée Dapper, 35 bis, rue Paul Valéry, Paris (France)
Entrance fee: 6 €
Webpage: www.dapper.com.fr 
About the exhibition:
The Musée Dapper exhibits France’s first major collection devoted to the arts of Angola. This exceptional event features around one hundred and forty works, including masks of different styles, statuettes of chiefs evoking the hunter hero Chibinda Ilunga, cult figures and insignia of dignity, impressive magico-religious artefacts and polychrome bas-reliefs.
Many works will be drawn from important public collections, not least :
Museu Nacional de Antropologia, Luanda
Museu Nacional de Etnologia, Lisbon
Museu Etnográfico, Sociedade de Geografia, Lisbon
Museu de História Natural, Faculdade de Ciências, Porto
Colecção do Museu Antropológico, Museu de História Natural da Universidade, Coimbra
Casa-Museu Teixeira Lopes, Vila Nova de Gaia
Museu Municipal Dr. Santos Rocha, Figueira da Foz _ Museum Volkenkunde, Leiden
Musée royal de l'Afrique centrale, Tervuren
Musée d'ethnographie, Geneva
Musée du quai Branly, Paris
Musée Dapper, Paris.
Other, similarly representative works, will be lent from private collections.
The space dedicated to contemporary art will present one of Angola's greatest artists, António Ole.

As a result of its rich diversity of peoples, Angola witnessed the development of myriad culture areas in which prestigious forms of court arts served to glorify the chiefs' political and spiritual power. The worship of ancestors and spirits also gave rise to sophisticated artistic practices, encouraged further by the initiation institutions that provided training for young girls and boys.
The masks, statuettes, emblems and numerous other artworks produced by the Chokwe, Kongo, Lwena, Lwimbi, Mwila and Ovimbundu, to cite the most well-known peoples, occupy a central place in Angolan arts.
This exhibition presents an astonishing repertoire of forms, which not only exemplify specific styles but also afford glimpses of borrowings and influences. Thus, while the masks carved from wood or made from other plant materials may have been designed, like the wooden cult figures, to fulfil a specific role and were unique to a particular group, they frequently hint at links between different peoples.
The most meaningful representations are often those in which several different registers are closely involved. As both figurative modes and symbolic systems are more or less explicitly informed by historical, political and religious fact, the pieces offer insights into a world of interplaying powers.
This selection is intended to be as representative as possible of the output of peoples who helped to build a truly exceptional artistic heritage.
This exhibition is sponsored by Total.

© Text and image: Musée Dapper

Musée Dapper - FR from musee dapper on Vimeo.

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