African art is welcomed in Italy, not artists

Italian journalist Stefania Ragusa reports on her blog how African arts are ever more nowadays exported and made by people not living anywhere near Africa.

For some western people working in the art industry, this is rightly due because “art does not exist in itself – the Italian journalist writes. It exist only when there is a network that is able to give it some value. Africa did not have this network. We created it. Therefore we can place African pieces of art wherever we want”.

 

African art is welcome, not who made it. This is the title of blogger and journalist Stefania Ragusa. She writes: “Up until now Zinsou Foundation hosted seven important exhibitions. Nowadays there are 250 photos by Malick Sidibé, a photographer from Mali awarded with the Golden Lion in Venice, Italy. It is the most comprehensibe exhibition of his work ever”.

There are artist who are a bit angry with the western world. One of this is Romuald Hazoumé. “A genius of artist from benin – the Italian journalist writes –  he isvery well known and appreciated in Europe (he has been awarded at the latest Documenta, the most important contemporary art exhibition in the world, where he received the Arnold Bode award) he always refused to leave Cotonou. Hazoumé makes masks and compositions with poor materials”.

He left 85 pieces of his work for the use of the Foundation. “I’ve never took them out – says the artist – because I did not want them to leave Benin. I’ve always thought my art pieces as a property for the people of my country”.

He is very critical of the West. “Where is today the African contemporary art? In Europe, which means where Africans can only go if transformed in work force. This is frankly unacceptable”, says Hazoumé.

 

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