Congo as Fiction
328 pages, 23 x 28 cm , 1525 g.
Congo as Fiction
Art Worlds between Past and Present
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Congolese artists reflecting upon globalized trade, colonialism, proselytization, and virtual boundaries.

A single Congo does not exist—or is in any case fictitious. Yet the Democratic Republic of Congo has an extraordinarily vibrant art scene that attracts great interest from around the world. Nowhere else in Africa art production is as manifold in form, media, and materials used. For many years, Congolese artists have been exploring and reflecting upon the effects of globalized trade, colonialism, proselytization, and virtual boundaries.

For the first time, this German language book, published in conjunction with an exhibition at Zurich’s Museum Rietberg, features art works and photographs collected by German anthropologist Hans Himmelheber during his journey to the Congo in 1938–39. They bear witness of the period’s extraordinary creativity and innovativeness as well as of the collector’s own idea of Congo. They are juxtaposed with works by contemporary Congolese artists and complemented by essays that investigate the fiction of Congo both as an African and Western World imagination. Thus, the book links the past with the utopia of contemporary artistic production in central Africa.
EditorNanina Guyer, Michaela Oberhofer
PublisherScheidegger & Spiess
Author(s)Laura Falletta, Christraud M. Geary, Nanina Guyer et al.
Type of bookExhib'publication
Museum / PlaceMuseum Rietberg, Zürich
Article IDart-60366


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