If they took the floor, what would the African masks on display in the European « ethnographic » museums tell us?
In the 1950s “Statues die too” movie, Chris Marker and Alain Renais asked this question which still resonates today – “Why is Negro Art at the Musée de l’Homme while ‘Greek Art’ and Egyptian Art are at the Louvre?”.
The project aims at questioning the role of African art in building a Euro-centric vision of the world. It questions the social and political functions of masks in the different rituals and staging with which they have been associated over time, and aims at reversing points of views and looks.
That African mask, idealized, studied in all its forms, which has caused an abundant literature to flow, descends down from its pedestal to an African look at Europe’s projected representations of Africa.