On Art History in Africa

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SKU: 9782940672097N
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African art history continues to be dominated by Western scholars who set the tone for the field. Their cultural frames of reference, which they cast as universal, exert influence on the interpretation of African art, social conditions, and cultural milieu. The knowledge produced in most institutions and academic or independent publishers outside of Africa communicates the extant system in place within those localities. In other words, the audience for such forms of knowledge production is not (necessarily) in Africa. A contradiction is born of this state of affairs; most contemporary Africans do not necessarily recognize themselves in what they are reading, yet they tend to hold this material as truth. To what extent do Africans have a say in the way this knowledge is produced and consumed? What strategies and methodologies exist that counter and rebel against the dominance of a Western academic status quo? These are some of the questions this book examines. The symposium series “Condition Report,” hosted by RAW Material Company, center for art, knowledge and society in Dakar, and various partners, started in 2011. “On Art History in Africa” was its third occurrence. This publication gathers communications and discussions from the symposium, as well as essays and dialogues that happened afterwards. It offers a precise overview of the art history being written today in Africa, of its critique, but also of the art history to come.