A Useful Dream

Cape Town, Essop Brothers

BOZAR (Palais des Beaux Arts)  

26.06.10 – 26.09.10  

As part of the Summer Program, Visionary Africa which celebrates 50 years of independence for several African countries, BOZAR is hosting a photographic retrospective of the Dark Continent. Exclusive to native artists, the show addresses the issue of identity with which the Africa has struggled after years of smothering colonisation. A Useful Dream allows us an insight into an Africa emancipated from colonial stereotyping, be it negative or positive. Moreover, we see beyond the politics which has branded our perception of Africa for too long.  

Nevertheless, the beautiful images still show traces of Americanization: dance classes, sports cars and western pornography. Thus a lingering insecurity confronts the celebratory note of the exhibition, forcing us to ask the same question as the photographer: what is modern Africa?  

The images are powerful and varied, offering us 50 years of challenging historiographical evidence. My favourite is the work of Pierrot Men.   

Mtethwa Zwelethu

Sad Eyed Model, Ricardo Rangel

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