This review examines Contested Terrains, an innovative show that presents the work of four “emerging” artists: Adolphus Opara, Michael MacGarry, Kader Attia, and Sammy Baloji. The exhibition plays with our notions of past and present, fracturing our sense of the contemporary and shattering any residual myth of Africa as a timeless continent. It is significant not only for its focus and framing but also for the institutional shift it represents. The show, cocurated by the Tate Modern in London and the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Lagos, was conceived as a joint exhibition that would travel to both venues.

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