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Miller Gallery
at Carnegie Mellon University
Purnell Center for the Arts
5000 Forbes Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

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Closed Mondays

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A Fiction of Authenticity

Contemporary Africa Abroad

Curated by Shannon Fitzgerald, Curator at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis and Tumelo Mosaka, Assistant Curator at the Brooklyn Museum of Art

Aug. 20–Oct. 3, 2004

Public Programs

Sept. 10, Fri. 5-8pm:
Reception with Artist's Talks, Special Performances, and Demonstrations

About the Artists

A Fiction of Authenticity featured new work by:

Siemon Allen (South Africa/New York)
Fatma Charfi (Tunisia/Bern)
Godfried Donkor (Ghana/London)
Mary Evans (Nigeria/London)
Meschac Gaba (Benin/Amsterdam)
Kendell Geers (South Africa/Brussels)
Moshekwa Langa (South Africa/Amsterdam)
Ingrid Mwangi (Kenya/Mannheim, Germany)
Odili Donald Odita (Nigeria/Tallahassee)
Owusu-Ankomah (Ghana/Lilienthal, Germany)
Zineb Sedira (Algeria/London)

About the Exhibition

A Fiction of Authenticity: Contemporary Africa Abroad presented new work by 11 contemporary African and African Diaspora artists who worked and lived in Europe and the United States. The exhibition highlighted an accomplished young generation of artists whose conceptually based work explores issues of authenticity and challenges prevailing notions of interculturalism and postcolonial subjectivity. The exhibition presented the artists' responses to social, cultural and aesthetic attitudes developed throughout history, particularly the Western fabrication of an "authentic" Africa. As products of the 1960s and 70s, this generation of young artists challenged the Western expectation regarding "Africanness." Rooted in exile, Diaspora and interculturalism, each artist created a new body of work that transcends limitations of geography, culture, race, ethnicity and nationhood. This exhibition considered each artist's conceptual art practices, international perspectives and recent entrance into the global arena that has created a shift in the way the world considers post-modern/post-colonial art production.

The exhibition debuted in St. Louis in September, 2003, as the premier exhibition of the newly built Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis.