In and Out of Africa
Curator: António Saint Silvestre
7 October 2017 – 8 April 2018
Núcleo de Arte da Oliva Creative Factory
We are all “black” even if many don’t know it or have forgotten.
Africa was the cradle of Mankind, who went on to conquer the planet and, according to the climate, food and other elements, human skin went from bluish black to dark brown, light brown, beige, reddish beige, yellow, several tones of cream and rosy cream, so-called white. When Africa became the supermarket of Europe,
who helped itself not only to goods but also turned Africans into merchandise that was exported all over the world, especially the Americas, the “black” man lost its human essence in the eye of the “white” man.
The practice of selling people like cattle was an unfortunate appanage of the human race, without discrimination of colour, but in the last few centuries it was decided that darker tones were less valuable, ignoring the immensity of scientists, writers, poets, sportsmen, singers and the like that darker tones have given to the world. There is no race, simply human types, all with the same abilities, the same flaws, the same talents and the same rights.
Africa is a collection of different peoples, as different from each other as Swedes from Italians and Russians from Portuguese.
The vast artistic creation from north to south is of an immense wealth, as can be attested by Zimbabwe’s rock paintings, the terracotta sculptures of the Nok and Djenné people, the Ife objects, the wonderful Igbo Ukwu bronzes and the kingdom of Benin. And not just that; everything is art and creation, like wooden spoons, doors in houses, ritualistic objects, traditional masks that inspired modern artists, the most important among them above all, Pablo Picasso. Even outside so called “noble” art, the reuse of everyday life objects such
as soda cans, plastic bags, toothbrushes, spray cans and many others turns them into masterpieces.
By the driving force of creativity. Everything is a reason for art. Just like more conventional mediums to every artist, such as the pencil, paper, paints and canvases.
African artists, “In and Out of Africa” and others in the mix that prove that skin colour is a meaningless detail, not only in the overall quality but also in the strength of artistic creation.
It’s what we will prove with the introduction of this exhibition with works from the
Treger/Saint Silvestre Collection.
“In” artists are mainly contemporary, even if they are marked by a certain “outsider” wave; “out” artists are mainly from the “Art Brut” world.
António Saint Silvestre
Artists In: Anonymous Angolan Artist, Ardmore Ceramic Art (Sfiso Myelase, Sabelo Khoza and Mickey Chonco), Aston (Serge Mikpon), Franck Lundangi, Colbert Mashile, Ezekiel Messou, Joël Mpah Dooh, Sam Nhlengethwa, Dexter Nyamainasche, Gérard Quenum, Moffat Takadiwa
Artists Out: Gabriel Bien Aimé, Raimundo Camillo, José Castillo, Jesus Christyano, Mamadou Cissé, Thornton Dial, Donovan Durham, Misleidys Francisca Castillo Pedroso, Ted Gordon, Hassan, William Hawkins, John Henry Toney, Serge Jolimeau, Daldo Marte, Donald Mitchell, Camille-Jean Nasson, Marilena Pelosi, Royal Robertson, Lionel Saint Eloï, Welmon Sharlhorne, Hnery Speller, Mary Tillman Smith, José Teófilo Resende, Mose Ernest Tolliver, Victor Ulloa, Ray Vickers, Melvin Way, Wesley Willis
Photography: Dinis Santos