By Maria Emília Fonseca
This learn focusses at the exhibition of the Tree of existence, a sculpture made in Mozambique of decommissioned, dismantled guns, created to rejoice peace and commissioned by way of the British Museum, selected to be the emblem of the “Africa 2005” season of cultural occasions and exhibited in its nice court docket among February and October 2005. This art used to be first exhibited in Maputo ahead of being dispatched to Britain and it's shortly on demonstrate on the Sainsbury African Galleries of the British Museum, in London.
This dissertation strikes alongside converging routes: the articulation of the meaning(s) produced in the exhibition and the position of exhibitionary associations within the construction of social wisdom. A vital subject of debate is the several practices and websites of exhibition of the Tree of lifestyles sculpture in Britain and in Mozambique, in an endeavour to illustrate/establish the diversities which ascertain and/or the explicit ways utilized in the 2 special cultural contexts in which it was once exhibited.
The dialogue evolves in the direction of exploring how a brand new discourse at the exhibition of latest African artwork questions and demanding situations either curatorial practices and cultural suggestions of accumulating, exhibiting and reading artwork items and negotiating that means.
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Extra info for Touching Art: The Poetics and the Politics of Exhibiting the Tree of Life
The anchorage and information panels–offered exclusively in English–remain, however, clearly ethnographic, thus enabling the exhibition to work at this more traditional level too. The opening of the Sainsbury African Galleries in 2001 has allowed for different events focussing on Africa to be planned by the British Museum. 28 Right from the very opening of this new exhibition venue, the staff at the British Museum started to plan a return to the limelight with a major African conference taking place in the new Clore Education Centre during Easter 2004.
Further to these events, several free gallery talks were held related to the exhibition, as well as free lunchtime lectures at the Clore Education Centre on ‘Made in Africa’, ‘Tree of Life’ and ‘Africa in the British Museum’. 32 The second season of the ‘Africa 2005’ programme opened with ‘Views from Africa’ (Room 3, Main Entrance Hall, 28th April–24th July 2005), an exhibition which displayed works by African artists revealing depictions of Europeans reflected through the complex set of changing relationships between the two continents, and bringing to life the fivehundred-year-old story of African encounters with Europe.
In Nairne’s opinion, this function depends not only on the nature of the art itself, but is also connected to professional critical assessments and to the site of the exhibition. 18 Following Nairne’s statement about the role of contemporary works of art in our society, the British Museum’s contribution to this countrywide event featured not only a vast array of exhibitions, but also conferences, performances, demonstrations, gallery talks, lectures, films, family events and a gallery trail. Besides the opening of new premises and an extensive public programme at the Museum, those responsible for the British Museum also sought to stimulate debate about African issues beyond London and across the UK, promoting the tour of the Throne of Weapons to more than twenty sites in 2005, supported by the UK National Commission for UNESCO.