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Monday, August 29, 2011

Review: Dynasty and Divinity at IMA

Review: Dynasty and Divinity at IMA

The first work of art you encounter upon entering this exhibition of historic works by Yoruba people in what is now Nigeria and the Republic of Benin is, perhaps, the most memorable: a seated figure with one leg propped up, the other folded under, projecting a serene dignity reminiscent of the Buddhist divinity Kwan Yin. What makes this figure extraordinary is its creator's mastery of copper alloy and the way the metal has been modeled to create the soft illusion of flesh. You want to touch this piece, but there's also a temptation to sit and try to get on its contemplative wavelength.
Dynasty and Divinity consists of over 100 pieces of sculpture done in copper alloy, terra-cotta and stone that, for the most part, were created in the West African Kingdom of Ife (pronounced EE-fay) between the 12th and 15th centuries. Those seeking the full historic-anthropological experience will find plenty to read here. But others, whose bent is more sensual than scholarly, can delight in the wonderfully finished, elegant heads of royal personages, most often done in copper alloy; the terra-cotta models of animals and monsters, and primordial forms carved from granite. The show will be a revelation for anyone who thinks that people like the Yoruba somehow lacked the intention or taste for a sophisticated art of self-aggrandizement.

In 1910, a German explorer discovered a copper sculpture of a Yoruba head and was so amazed by its craft that he convinced himself he was looking at a bust of the Greek god Poseidon and that he'd discovered an artifact from the lost civilization of Atlantis. Makes you wonder what the world would be like with a little less imperial imagination and more respect for the real lives of people on the ground. The exhibition runs through January 15, 2012.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Medicinal Plants Conservation Project

Medicinal Plants Conservation Project

The Medicinal Plants Conservation Project was launched in January 2003 and it is jointly undertaken by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA). It is a national project that aims at examining and eliminating the root causes to the loss in biodiversity and addressing the threats to the conservation and sustainable use of medicinal plants in Egypt through a number of interventions, while at the same time empowering the Bedouin community to use and manage its resources in a sustainable manner.

The approach aims at successfully reaching the following outcomes:

Outcome 1

aims at conserving the MAP species within the ecosystem (in situ) through the development of sustainable management practices, including the protection of hotspots and individual plants or populations wherever it is not possible to utilise the resources sustainably. Ex situ conservation measures will be applied when the threat to a species is considered severe and warrant such measures. The main thrust of these interventions will be to address the issues of tenure of, and access to, the MAP resources and ensure that benefits are returned to those closest to the resource and who are bearing the costs of conservation management.

Outcome 2

aims at promoting the economic values of MAPs to provide the motivation for conservation management. This intervention will seek to develop national and international markets and add value to the wild and cultivated MAPs with the aim of capturing a significant and equitable proportion of those values locally. This Outcome can be characterised as providing the motivational force to drive the systemic approach of Outcome 1.

Outcome 3

deals with developing interventions designed to deflect pressure from the in situ MAP resources by promoting alternative livelihoods and resource replacement. It is recognised that the approach employed in Outcome 1 and 3 may conflict and this Outcome is likely to have greatest effect when it addresses threats indirectly related to the MAPs medicinal values, such as the provision of gas as a means to reduce fuel wood collection. This Outcome can be characterised as a resource replacement and alternative livelihoods approach.

Outcome 4

aims at capturing the experience from the project and developing an appropriate local and national enabling environment by incorporating lessons learned and facilitating the development of a national policy and legislative framework that protects those that are dependent upon the resource for their livelihoods, their indigenous knowledge and intellectual property. This Outcome can be characterised as an enabling or regulatory approach.

Outcome 5

aims at providing the vehicle for the project to develop Outcomes 1 to 4 and arrive at the Objective. The purpose of this Outcome is to constantly challenge assumptions, monitor risks and ensure that when assumptions do not hold true and risks materialize the Project is able to respond rapidly based upon evidence and analysis. This Outcome can be characterized as an adaptive management approach.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Dont forget African Artist this Festive season

Dont forget African Artist this Festive season

"Art plays an capital role in the lives of the African bodies and their communities. It serves a abundant added basic purpose than alone to adorn the animal environment, as art is usually active in abreast Western societies.

The adorableness of African art is artlessly an aspect of its function, for these altar would not be able if they were not aesthetically pleasing. Its adorableness and its agreeable appropriately amalgamate to accomplish art the agent that ensures the adaptation of traditions, protects the association and the individual, and tells abundant of the being or bodies who use it."

Tribal Art is rapidly growing in popularity. An alike broader admirers has been able to get pleasure ‘Tribal Art’ acknowledgment to above exhibitions in contempo years in London, Paris, Berlin, Munich and Düsseldorf.

At the alpha of the 20th century, however, Affiliated Art was already agitative abundant action amid artists and art collectors. At a time back “Negro Art” was still looked aloft as the innocent artefact of archaic peoples, cubists such as Picasso, Braque or Gris were already cartoon afflatus from the conspicuously fresh qualities of form; expressionists such as Kirchner, Nolde or Schmidt-Rottluff were captivated by the elementary ability of this built-in art and Gauguin was painting scenes from his campaign to countries of the South Pacific. Non-European art abundantly afflicted the assignment of these abundant artists as it continues to access avant-garde art of the present day.

Over the advance of the decades, abundant art lovers such as von der Heydt (Rietberg Museum, Zurich) or Mueller (Barbier-Mueller Museum, Geneva) accept accustomed cogent art collections, which alongside the “colonial legacy” accommodate the mainstay of the museums’ inventories all over the world. Today it is artists and art enthusiasts such as Baselitz, Arman or Fritz Koenig who ascertain the different qualities of affiliated art and accumulate appropriate collections which they accomplish accessible to the accessible in exhibitions.

We accept now accepted that this art anatomy cannot be referred to as “primitive art”. It is a actuality that this art speaks to us, and as it does so it draws us into the apple of those who created it. Alike back application the appellation ‘tribal art’ one charge bethink that it derives from a affluent assortment of cultures which finds announcement in the admirable works of this amazing art."

Thursday, December 16, 2010

African art vs. Visual Arts

African art vs. Visual Arts

Africa is commonly regarded more as a site of production of handicrafts.
But seriously on the Dark Continent Art and Design is operated. do away with prejudices now the makers of "The Global Africa Project" at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York.

Until recently, they took the African willow basket with love shopping at the vegetable market. At the cocktail reception we went but then perhaps with the Gucci bag. That should change now:

"The image of Africa and the African people is fasch as primitive artisans. The artisans in Africa today tradition with the future. They respond to the needs of the market and are very well organized. Even the nomadic people of the Masai has a website. creativity in the African world goes far beyond wicker baskets also, and even in terms of wicker baskets, there is a strong marketing and design concept. "

Said Lowery Stokes Sims, the co-curator of "The Global Africa Project". This is one of the first and most comprehensive exhibitions that will contribute to art, craft and design in contemporary Africa, the label of the third world tinkering finally get rid of. Over a hundred artists are represented in it, that creations of furniture, fashion and ceramics extend to the visual arts.

Kehinde Wiley is one of the most renowned. The New York-based painter shows here one of those naturalistic portraits of urban African-Americans, for which he is known. But the real attention is the chic midnight blue sneakers and T-shirts are designed by Wiley on behalf of the sports goods manufacturer Puma for the World Cup in Africa.

The boundaries between art and design are no longer clearly defined, said Lowery Stokes Sims. Thus, the multi-storey black object from Harlem's Heaven Hat Boutique is sculpture and warm felt hat in one. And the kunterbuntscheckige quilt from the Siddi Women's Quilting Cooperative is suitable as a bedspread and as a wall decoration.

was inevitable during the preparation for this exhibition, the question raised about what would be better for Africa, investment or development project, said Lowery Stokes Sims

"I remembered the work of Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto, who wrote about the so-called Third Way, about the possibilities of establishing an independent company despite the lack of infrastructure. I see art, craft and design as a third way for economic development of Africa."

To the label "Made in Africa" is a bestseller, it will take a while. But what wicker baskets at cocktail parties concerned: The Gahaya Links Weaving Association, a joint venture between Hutu and Tutsi women in Rwanda, now employs 4,000 people. One of their main customers Macy's, America's most prestigious department store chain. Who wants to be replaced ahead of the trend, that is better now, the Gucci-Täsch by African wattle.

The exhibition "The Global Africa Project" at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York continues until 15 May Given under the same title a 280-page catalog is published. It costs 49.95 dollars.

Friday, December 3, 2010

African Art News: Connecting art in Africa

Last Thursday at the Egyptian Center for Culture and Arts (Makan), Egyptian colloquial artist Zine al-Abidine Fouad, Sudanese accompanist Salma al-Assal, and the Egyptian-Sudanese bandage Nass Makan aggregate to bless the barrage of the Egyptian affiliate of the Arterial Network, a affairs that aims to advance cultural assembly in Africa. The black was organized by the Arterial Arrangement forth with the Culture Resource in Egypt--a bounded alignment that supports Arab arts and encourages cultural barter beyond the developing world.

Since its founding in Senegal in 2007, the Arterial Arrangement has developed to accommodate over 130 assembly from 28 African countries, with civic accommodation in South Africa, Liberia, Namibia, Cameroon, Swaziland, Togo and Zimbabwe. Egypt is the best recent African country to accompany the network, and its associates --the aboriginal stages of which were actuality acclaimed at Makan-- signals a growing attack to abode civic limitations in arts apprenticeship and funding. 100 artistic workers alive on the Egyptian cultural arena were arrive on Thursday to accompany the arrangement and accept 7 associates for the council board that will administer the Arterial Arrangement activities in Egypt.

Funding of the African art arena is a continent-wide issue. Despite the ample cardinal of artists, the abstemious contributed beneath that 1% of the world’s barter in artistic appurtenances and industries in 2007. Governments are pressured to avoid the arts in adjustment to armamentarium sectors that assume added acute or economically viable. Arterial recognizes the affluence of African cultural activity and sees abundant abeyant in the artistic industries to accord to bread-and-butter advance and amusing development. By agreeable cultural practitioners and NGOs beyond the continent, Arterial hopes to advance fresh strategies for networking, accommodation architecture and funding. Basma al-Husseiny, the administrator of the Culture Resource in Egypt explained in her aperture accent on Thursday that developing countries, because they face agnate challenges, accept a more good adventitious of award applicable solutions through a arrangement like Arterial.

So far, Arterial has organized a cardinal of training workshops in arts administration and cultural journalism. It is developing educational toolkits and in the continued run hopes to strengthen bounded cultural institutions for a acceptable result. With best allotment options in the arena actuality bound to adopted donors --and appropriately the artists actuality pressured to accede to donors’ interests-- Arterial focuses on the conception of absolute funds for African cultural projects.

But whatever the intentions of the Network, African artists still attempt with assertive akin categorizations based on indigenous identifications on the all-around arts scene. Artistic workers are generally apparent as ambassadors of their cultures rather than absolute participants on the all-embracing scenes of beheld arts, dance, theatre and music. This has sometimes beat artists from agreeable with institutions and networks that advance arts in bounded terms.

Arterial Network, nevertheless, seems to accede these issues. In May 2009, it launched the Arts in Africa website, a agenda of arts contest in the continent. The website seeks to advance contest and festivals after suggesting a framework of representation. Arterial’s affairs for acclimation beheld arts, music, theatre and ball biennials as able-bodied as its assignment on accommodation architecture and developing allotment alternatives is meant to animate the conception of bounded and all-embracing markets for African arts and empower artistic workers to booty their arts in any administration they wish.

Whatever the risks of misinterpretation, the allowances of bounded networks cannot be disregarded in agreement of accouterment basement and accretion the afterimage of arts from Africa globally. The alacrity of African artists to arrangement amid one addition was axiomatic aftermost Thursday. Attendees of the affair at Makan started planning collective projects of accepted interest, and listened raptly to Al-Abidine’s account of a acclaimed Zulu composition delivered during the celebrations of South African leader, Nelson Mandela’s admiral in 1994; “Remember, O baton … that for every aliment atom you were fed in prison, millions starved.” The composition --one of abounding translated by al-Abidine in his book Poetry from Other River Banks: Translated African Poems-- was accounting to admonish Mandela that his autonomous accretion to ability was fabricated accessible by the abounding sacrifices of the South African people.

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