Meschac Gaba’s Tresses cycles draw on West African masking traditions invested with psychosocial power and magic. At the same time, they are rooted in secular fashions, specifically the styling of hair extensions. Gaba’s new Car Tresses cycle inverts the relationship between First and Third Worlds, looking at vehicular transport as a metonymic element within consciousness. His Colours of Cotonou installation uses the device of the frame as a relatively traditional meditation on art and value, but Gaba goes beyond this in two ways: in his conscious play on the French word cadre, meaning both “frame” and “political party operative,” and in his refusal to offer critique through his work, embracing instead an existential diaspora of contradiction.
Research Article|November 01 2010
Meschac Gaba’s The Street: Two for the Price of One
Ivor Powell began his working life as an academic art historian, then moved into art criticism—and subsequently political and investigative journalism— with the founding of the Weekly Mail (now Mail and Guardian, published in Johannesburg) in the mid-1980s. Between 2000 and 2008 he was a senior special investigator with South Africa’s now-defunct Directorate of Special Operations (better known as the Scorpions). He lives in Cape Town and is group investigations editor for Independent Newspapers Limited, South Africa’s largest newspaper group
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Nka (2010) 2010 (27): 70-75.
Ivor Powell; Meschac Gaba’s The Street: Two for the Price of One. Nka 1 November 2010; 2010 (27): 70–75. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10757163-2010-27-70
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