Russia’s first major exhibit of contemporary African art kicks off in St. Petersburg
ST. PETERSBURG, July 13./TASS/. The Reversed Safari exhibit of contemporary African art, featuring works by 47 African and 14 Russian artists opened to the general public at the Manege Central Exhibition Hall in St. Petersburg on Thursday, a TASS correspondent reports.
According to organizers, this is the first exhibit on such a scale in Russia and it will become the key cultural event of the Second Russia-Africa Summit which will be held in St. Petersburg on July 27-28.
Among the over 300 pieces of art on display are paintings, sculpture, photographs, video footage as well as three large-scale installations created specifically for this year’s event.
All exhibit items are devoted to the legacy of the colonial era, how different cultures interact, daily life and the search for identity. At the exhibit, traditional African artifacts are meant to start a dialogue while works by Russian artists reflect how the African region is perceived.
Many works on display share the common theme of being made from recycled materials, for instance, cardboard, paper, as well as objects "vested with a secondary function," a curator noted. One of the artists used flip-flops found on a beach to create portraits, while another one created masks using salvaged materials such as plastic cutlery, a deflated football, slipper soles and rubber gloves.
The exhibit features traditional African artifacts as well as books, essays and photographs from other exhibits that show the uniqueness of African art.