Inner Africa. Uwe Michael Neuman. Photography and Historical Objects from the Artist's African Collection. Curator Lily Fürstenow at gh36 Berlin-Mitte. European Month of Photography.
Lily Fürstenow. exhibition Curator with artist Uwe Michael Neumann
The opening speech. Dr. Lily Fürstenow. Curator
Exhibition guests. Adam Chalk. gh36. Co-Curator
With artist Uwe Michael Neumann and Franziska Le Wirs
Artist Uwe Michael Neumann wearing a historical African robe
Project space GH36 is pleased to announce the exhibition Inner Africa presenting works byphotographer Uwe Michael Neumann together with historical objects from his private African collection. The photographic diary of central African dazzling land- and seascapes, moments from everyday life in big cities, snapshots of animals span throughout the 3 years of the photographer's life and work in various central African states. The historical statuettes, masks and other ritual objects from his private collection - many of which are rare and valuable collectibles - impress and kindle our admiration for African art, ethnology, rituals and customs. Among the ongoing discourse on the issue of restitution to the African museums of the valuable objects once taken away and now parts of big museum collections all over the world – the pieces from this private collection present a small yet rich portion of the enormous African cultural heritage within the postcolonial discourse. How much do we actually know about Africa except for the established clichéesof exotic nature, safari and promise of adventure? To what extent is this exhibition a projection of our fantasies about this vast continent with its traumatic past and it's troubled present? Just to note - it was in Berlin in year 1888 when the European imperial powers met to divide the African continent into colonies – which was a purely bureaucratic procedure of drawing borders – actually rectangular areas of land - that were subsequently distributed as colonies between the European empires of the time – all this irrespective of the actual borders of the existing African countries. Since then not much has changed about the state borders in Africa. This exhibition wouldn't solve all these issues but just point to them.
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