A Fiction of Authenticity: Contemporary Africa Abroad brings together an important generation of artists working in a variety of mediums—sculpture, painting, photography, installation, video and performance—exploring issues of authenticity. All artists, born either near the end of colonialism or shortly after (with the exception of South Africa) are making new work in response to the thematic, a fiction of authenticity. As products of the 1960s and 70s, this important generation of artists challenge the Western invented notion of an authentic Africa. Rooted in exile, diaspora and interculturalism, each artist is creating a new body of work that transcends past limitations of geography, culture, race, ethnicity and nationhood. This exhibition considers their conceptual art practices, international perspectives and recent entrance into the global area that has created a shift in the way we consider post-modern/post-colonial art production.
A Fiction of Authenticity: Contemporary Africa Abroad features work by artists Siemon Allen (South Africa/Washington DC), Fatma Charfi (Tunisia/Bern, Switzerland), Godfried Donkor (Ghana/London), Mary Evans (Nigeria/London), Meschac Gaba (Benin/Amsterdam), Kendell Geers (South Africa/Brussels), Moshekwa Langa (South Africa/Amsterdam) Ingrid Mwangi (Kenya/Ludwigshafen, Germany), Odili Donald Odita (Nigeria/Tampa, Florida), Owusu-Ankomah (Ghana/Lilienthal, Germany) and Zineb Sedira (Algeria/London).
A Fiction of Authenticity: Contemporary Africa Abroad is organized for the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis by Shannon Fitzgerald, Curator, and Tumelo Mosaka, Assistant Curator, Brooklyn Museum of Art.
The exhibition travels to the Regina Grouger Miller Gallery, Purnell Center for the Arts, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh (August 20–October 3, 2004) and Blaffer Art Museum, University of Houston (September–November 2006).