In the catalogue essay for his 2006 exhibition Snap Judgments: New Positions in Contemporary African Photography (Göttingen: Steidl, 2006), Okwui Enwezor highlighted the pervasiveness of Afro-Pessimism in the media. Ten years later, the term has been roundly banished from the vocabulary and vision of “Creative Africa.” This series of five tightly curated exhibitions celebrating historical and contemporary artistic production from the African continent was on view during the summer 2016 season at the Philadelphia Museum of Art's Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building. Despite a typically monolithic treatment of a generalized Africa in the show's title, the programming and exhibitions themselves provided nuanced and thoughtful insights into a diverse range of creative pursuits from the continent, including historical arts, photography, architecture, design, fashion, and dance. Though four of the exhibitions were organized separately by Philadelphia Museum curators, including Peter Barberie, Kathryn Bloom Hiesinger, Dilys Blum, H. Kristina Haugland, and John...
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June 01 2017
Creative Africa. African Arts 2017; 50 (2): 84–86. doi: https://doi.org/10.1162/AFAR_r_00346
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