The Art of Humanity: Imago Mundi – Luciano Benetton Collection at Dak’Art 2014

CCBM Automobile, Volkswagen Showroom, , Dakar, Senegal
10 May 2014 - 09 Jun 2014

The Art of Humanity: Imago Mundi – Luciano Benetton Collection at Dak’Art 2014

Imago Mundi comes to Africa with the exhibition The Art of Humanity, bringing together six collections of contemporary art in representation of every region of the planet. The cultural, democratic and global project promoted by Luciano Benetton, following its participation in the 2013 Venice Biennale, will exhibit at Dak’Art Off 2014 as part of the 11th edition of the Biennale of Contemporary African Art in Dakar.

With the exhibition The Art of Humanity, Imago Mundi, the contemporary art project that aims to show and pass on to future generations the widest possible visual mapping of human cultures at the start of the third millennium, brings to Dakar six collections: Dokh Dadjé(Senegal, Africa), Ojo Latino(Latin America), Painting the Dreaming(Aboriginal Art from Australia), Greetings from South Korea(Asia), Looking Eastward (Russia and other Eastern European countries) and Organix (the United States). The exhibition comprises 1,200 paintings, commissioned by Luciano Benetton, from established and emerging artists with maximum freedom of expression, and whose only constraint is the 10 x 12cm format.

“Ours is an ambitious project – says Luciano Benetton – which we intend take on a journey around the world, overcoming physical, ethnic and ideological boundaries. ‘The ancient bed of mankind,’ as the American writer Saul Bellow defined Africa, is an ideal place for remembering that art, ever since the African rock paintings of prehistoric times, leaves fascinating and enduring traces of the passage of human civilization on Earth. As such, Imago Mundi aims to tell a story of humanity through the art of today. Beyond styles, trends or market forces, it looks to new horizons and coexistence: of expressive languages and of peoples.”

Dokh Dadjé, the 145 works of the collection of the host country Senegal celebrate the encounter between art and humanity, between tradition, with its historic hospitality and tolerance, and the whirling desire for the future of the whole of Africa. Ojo Latino presents an overview of contemporary Latin American artists, with 200 works, representing almost all the countries in the region,  that tell the story of the cultural and social evolution of an entire continent. The Australian collection, Painting the Dreaming, features over 200 works that bear witness to the dynamism, poetry and vitality of contemporary Aboriginal painting in the Central and Western Desert of Australia. Greetings from South Korea, the collection of more than 200 artists from South Korea, acknowledges the vital impulse of the “creative Korean wave” which, in a ceaseless exchange of languages, experiences and cultures, heralds the society of tomorrow. Looking eastward includes the newest and most exciting artistic exploration of about 200 artists from a boundless space, which brings together, through history and destiny, the people and regions of Russia and Eastern Europe. Organix explores art today in the United States in the name of diversity of expression: more than 270 artists (filmmakers, musicians, illustrators, graphic novelists, fashion designers, painters, singers, photographers, writers) give their vision in the name of a collective statement or visual scape.

Viewing the Imago Mundi collections is facilitated by the design of the exhibition by the architect Tobia Scarpa, who has created a welcoming space that facilitates understanding of the richness of the exhibit. The structure provides clear visibility of the small canvasses and, thanks to the display stands that close like the leaves of a book, is easy to transport and install, facilitating the itinerant aims of the collection, destined to travel without frontiers, to be shown, in collaboration with private institutions and public museums, to the greatest possible number of people in the world.

Additionally,– in the founding spirit of the Luciano Benetton Collection: to catalogue, share, pass down to future generations the thousands of 10 x 12cm artworks – makes all the Imago Mundi collections available to view online in digital quality, as well providing as a variety of other information about the artists involved in the different countries and news of available catalogues and exhibitions around the world.

Currently, the Imago Mundi project – increasingly global, with over 80 countries involved by 2015 – is focussed in particular on the contemporary African collections. The works and artists from around twenty countries, from Senegal to South Africa, from Eritrea to Mozambique, from Morocco to Madagascar, will be the protagonists of an exhibition dedicated entirely to the continent, to be held in Rome in the autumn of 2014. Imago Mundi will have the important task of representing the role of art and culture in the context of a series of initiatives promoted by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs that will feed into the global Italy-Africa conference of 2015.

The exhibition will be inaugurated on Saturday 10 May, at 8pm 

CCBM Automobile, Volkswagen Showroom,
30 Avenue Lamine Guèye and Rue Marchand, Le Plateau, Dakar

Free entry, every day from 9am to 6pm



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