Edited by Simon Njami, with contributions by Mara Ambrožič, Zdenka Badovinac, Roberto Casati, Johannes Hoff, Achille Mbembe, and Pep Subirós
The catalogue to a highly unusual 2014 group show staged by Simon Njami at the Museum für Moderne Kunst, The Divine Comedy features sixty African artists from twenty-two countries using Dante’s poem as a contemplative framework for works addressing migration, transnational identity, and the construction of the Other across a broad range of media. Echoing the show, the catalogue is split into three sections, each printed on its own kind of paper and with a distinct focus. The first comprises seven essays that serve as an interpretive framework for the exhibition. The next thoroughly documents the work on display split by realm, each prefaced by an essay in which Njami, acting as our alter-Virgil, leads the reader through the theological, sociopolitical, and art-historical considerations of the work. The final section is a textual and visual encyclopedia authored by the artists themselves.
Featired artists include Ghada Amer, Joël Andrianomearisoa, Kader Attia, Sammy Balodji, Berry Bickle, Bili Bidjocka, Wim Botha, Zoulikha Bouabdellah, Mohamed Bourouissa, Nabil Boutros, Edson Chagas, Loulou Cherinet, Lawrence Chikwa, Kudzanai Chiurai, Christine Dixie, Dimitri Fagbohoun, Franck Abd-Bakar Fanny, Jellel Gasteli, Pélagie Gbaguidi, Kendell Geers, Frances Goodman, Nicholas Hlobo, Ato Malinda, Julie Mehretu, Wangechi Mutu, Mwangi Hutter, Youssef Nabil, Yinka Shonibare, Pascale Marthine Tayou, Guy Tillim, Guy Wouete and Dominique Zinkpè.
September 30, 2014
376 pages, 9.75 x 11.5 inches