Through labels, museums identify, classify, and make sense of artworks on display. Yet such information is rarely uncomplicated: many of the ways we classify the historical arts of Africa are in fact remnants of colonization, when European powers carved up the continent into sharply divided groups and nations, failing to recognize moments of interaction, encounter, and exchange. The exhibition Beyond Borders: Global Africa brings together artworks that challenge such borders, ranging from historical objects from UMMA's collection, to contemporary artworks by Omar Victor Diop, Nandipha Mntambo and Kudzanai Chiurai. Join Laura De Becker, exhibition curator and UMMA's Helmut and Candis Stern Associate Curator of African Art, in a conversation exploring how conceptual and geographic borders continue to inform - and limit - the way we collect, research, and display the arts of Africa.
In Conversation: The Limitations of Labels: Beyond Borders and Categories
Lead support for Beyond Borders: Global Africa is provided by the University of Michigan Office of the Provost, Michigan Medicine, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the University of Michigan Office of Research, African Studies Center, and Department of Afroamerican and African Studies. Additional generous support is provided by the University of Michigan CEW+ Frances and Sydney Lewis Visiting Leaders Fund and Susan Ullrich.