Africa(n Art) Recently on German TV

German TV report about the exhibition Who Knows Tomorrow. In German and I don’t quite know for how long it will be available. For now, find it here.

El Anatsui and the other artists do speak in English and French anyway (its dubbed but you can kind of make out what’s said still) and as for the comment and the the curator Udo Kittelmann’s remarks … I might have a go at a transcript/translation later but meanwhile here’s a summary of Kittelmann’s contributions which I suspect are the most relevant for anyone reading this:

He repeated again (ca. 3 mins) how El Anatsui’s work in particular raises interesting questions about the identity of artists. After all, the Alte Nationalgalerie was perceived as a museum for German artists (this is still clearly expressed in the dedication across the entrance), in other words, with national(ist) categories in mind, categories that he believes cannot be sustained nowadays. With regard to Shonibare’s works in the Friedrichswerdersche Kirche the commentator emphasized how in this particular context his installations remind us of the complicity of the church in the European colonial endeavor (ca. 4:43 mins). Then Kittelmann explains that he believes that until today we (by which I guess he particularly means Germans) know particularly little about Africa and how this exhibition should be seen as an opportunity to raise the question(s) why this is the case. The next time Kittelmann comments it is with regard to Ole’s rejection of the label ‘African artist’ (ca. 9:20 mins). In this regard he reminds German audiences that ‘when we speak of Africa we do speak of a continent, after all we do not speak of Asian artists, we do in fact distinguish and talk of an artist from Thailand, an Indian artist etc. Only with regard to African artists we still tend to identify them as African artists.’

Now, let me go back to my PhD and maybe, but only maybe transcribe the whole program later … Oh, and if you do actually speak/hear German, there recently were two programs on the same channel recently: Marietta Slomka, a German journalist without – as far as I know – particular background in Africa/reporting from Africa - travels through the continent. At times you can pick up some English in the background ... anyway, here's part one and part two.

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  1. http://katrinschulze.blogspot.com/2010/06/who-knows-tomorrow-nationalgalerie.html

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