Fault Lines: Contemporary African Art and Shifting Landscape

In geological terms, fault lines reveal themselves as fractures in the earth’s surface, but they also mark a break in the continuity of the strata and create new landscapes. Fault Lines brings together artists and writers from Africa and the African diaspora whose works trace the fault lines that are shaping contemporary experience locally and globally.

Published on the occasion of the 50th Venice Biennale, Fault Lines traces a journey from the rousing words of the first presidents of the independent states of Africa to the current ‘states of emergency’ that Stuart Hall discerns in the work of the Fault Lines artists. Achille Mbembe’s honest and insightful notes on the postcolony; Sarat Maharaj’s discussion of ‘cultural managerialism’ in apartheid South Africa; and Okwui Enwezor’s analysis of the institutional reception of multicultural art provide the cultural, economic, and political context in which the Fault Lines artists are operating. Complementing Gilane Tawadros’s introduction to the curatorial framework of the exhibition and to the artists she has selected, essays on the individual artists were commissioned from a wealth of established and emerging writers.

London, Institute of International Visual Arts, Forum for African Arts, Prince Claus Fund Library, 2003


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