Historical collecting practices have had a lasting impact on representations of Africa, its history, culture, and life today. Labeled as ‘unknown’ or ‘anonymous,’ African artists became associated with broad cultural styles and collective identities rather than personal creativity and individual agency. The exhibition Unrecorded: Reimagining Artist Identities in Africa includes artworks from both named and unrecorded, contemporary and historic artists to tell an alternative story. It explores how the changing attributes of an ‘African’ artist’s identity, and constructions of African identity more broadly, have shaped perceptions of Africa outside of the continent.
Lead support for Unrecorded is provided by the University of Michigan Office of the Provost and the African Studies Center. Additional generous support is provided by the University of Michigan Department of Afroamerican and African Studies and Susan Ullrich.