Tate Modern features Meschac Gaba’s Museum of Contemporary African Art 1997–2002, a 12-room installation which reflects on the nature of the museum and blurs the boundaries between art and the everyday.
Constructed over a five year period this multi-layered, humorous and questioning work contains a vast array of made and found objects from paintings, sculptures, drawings and videos to musical instruments, religious objects and shredded banknotes, all carefully arranged in the style of a West African market.
The inclusion of several rooms from the Museum of Contemporary African Art in Documenta XI in 2002 cemented Gaba’s reputation as one of the most important African artists working today.
This free exhibition marks Tate’s acquisition of the Museum of Contemporary African Art and will be the first time it is shown in its entirety in the UK.
Artist Talk: Meschac Gaba in conversation with Chris Dercon
3 July 2013, 18.30 – 21.00
Tate Modern, Starr Auditorium
Meschac Gaba was born in 1961 in Cotonou, Benin. He studied at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam in 1996–7, and currently lives in Cotonou and Rotterdam. In 1997 Gaba inaugurated his major work, The Museum of Contemporary African Art, a project in which the artist installed 12 rooms of a nomadic museum in various institutions over a period of five years, culminating with his presentation of the ‘Humanist Space’ at Documenta 11. Gaba’s survey exhibition Museum for Contemporary African Art & More was presented at the Museum de Paviljoens in Almere, the Netherlands; the Kunsthalle Fridericianum in Kassel, Germany; and the Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno in Las Palmas, Canary Islands, in 2009–10. Solo exhibitions include Glue Me Peace at the Nobel Peace Center, Oslo (2006), and Tate Modern, London (2005). Group shows include The Global Contemporary: Art Worlds after 1989 at ZKM Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Germany (2011); Touched, the 2010 Liverpool Biennial; Africa Remix (2004–7) and, in 2006, the São Paolo, Gwangju, Sydney and Havana biennales.