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These works from the Congo are lawfully in Zurich?

He came twice to Zurich, to browse in the estate of Hans himmelheber. Twice the 29-year-old Congolese artist Sinzo Aanza of the curators of the Museum Rietberg was the extensive, over 15'000 photos comprehensive collection show, the lodges on the Congo journey of the German ethnologist (he lived from 1908 to 2003) was born. Aanza opted for a particularly symbolic image – but more on this later.

In the years 1938 and 1939 the sky, and Heber had traveled in time under Belgian rule of the country, the territory of the former kingdoms of the Kasai, Cuba, and Pende, as well as the Songye and the Luba. It is a sprawling art dealer trip in which he acquired thousands of African wooden masks and sculptures, which he then sold to European and American museums.

In the Switzerland sky Jack sent his things to the ethnological museums in Geneva, Basel and Zurich. Here are the Museum Rietberg in a "fiction of the Congo" titled exhibition of these magnificent loans from Private and other museums extended treasures presented.

visitors will be made clear from the outset that the art objects are very critical to deal. These items not only for the restitution of the recommendations of Felwine Sarr and Bénédicte Savoy, under the General title, whether you camp legally in a European Museum.

provenance research in the Africa collection

A stroke of luck that, in the Rietberg Museum is not only the objects of the sky lifter have received, but in the last few years, his diaries and the photographs, which have given to the descendants of the house. Now you can specify almost every piece, the sky lifter is acquired, the provenance, the price, and often the name of the artist, like us, Michaela Oberhofer, curated with Nina Guyer, the exhibition explains.

With this information, the possession of the Museum, although largely legitimize. However, each piece shall be liable in the exhibition of the blemish that it was acquired under the conditions of colonialism.

So was carried around, as you can see in the opening movie of the Show, the affluent art dealer of the villagers often as a king in a litter, which is a clear indication of the inequality of the relationship between the Europeans and the Africans. And sales measured by the value of its treasures, had sky lifter bought them very cheap. In short: Its a shopping tour is not conceivable without the active Participation of the Africans.

mask with a representation of a Tipoye. Artist of the Suku-Region, 1. Half of the 20. Century. Collection Marc Felix, Dr. de Winter, Jacques and Denise Schwob

The exhibition presented its magnificent treasures in several chapters, the aspects like Aesthetics, politics, and social rituals into focus. She makes the leap into the present by, for example, within a highly artificial objects and magnificently crafted carpets from the first half of the 20th century. Century, those young, luxuriously dressed in the Congo, read in the image moves, the understand today as Sapeure. The term is derived from the French word "sape" for clothes, and assumes a striking, elegantly dressed man in Africa, whose appearance is in marked contrast to his life circumstances.

sale Of home

We see in the exhibition is a terrifying force figures, of which there are also adaptations of modern artists. Stunningly beautiful, the wood masks, which usually have a neck wreath of straw, and the only all ten-yearly initiation rituals have been worn for young men.

Among the many dance shots, group images and portraits of artists found in the sky mug photo collection, and of which in the catalogue for the exhibition of around a hundred specimens are imaged, the above-mentioned Sinzo Aanza finally for one, on a man from the Songye Region, surrounded by many children, full of Pride, a great force of character presents.

The power figure is pre-worn, Songye Region, photo: Hans Himmelheber © Museum Rietberg Zurich

In this Person, who is wearing a man-sized fetish, focuses for the artist, so to speak, the whole Scandal of colonialism. Sinzo Aanza explains: "imagine that a French farmer would wear a Ciborium, a sacred Vase, a Gothic Cathedral and a dealer from China. Imagine what happened to well-read in the header of the Congo in the Moment in which he sold a spiritually-charged Statue of a German dealer. I mean, in this Moment, in this gesture, the circulation, the upheaval, the radical reorganization of the territory and of the life of the people, colonialism in the Congo, apparently."

Sinzo Aanza, "The Lord is Dead, long Life to the Lord," installation view, Courtesy Sinzo Aanza, Museum Rietberg. Photo: Rainer wolf Berger

The Africans who sold the African soul, takes Sinzo Aanza to the starting point of an enormous photo collage, which is part of his Installation "The Lord is Dead, Long Life to the Lord," is that he has made at the invitation of the Museum. And since it does not accumulate in the case of this sale of the home, as we would say in Switzerland, a mass of business went to the Collage of all the mountains of colorful art objects, so that one gets the impression of waste, but from a mistaken celebration of giving, which is accompanied by a wild music, rhythm, dance and wine.

colonialism as a conquest strip

How Sinzo Aanzo says? The colonization seemed to him a continuation of the conquest of the Wild West, a conquest and subjugation, full of enthusiasm, of people, the drunk almost got involved in the radical Transformation of an area, to Hans Himmelheber and his partners just as To help how your African. And so seen, is the colonization of the Congo, a Trip that has not carried away, only the Europeans, but also Africans.

"We have", we quote the artist, "in Congo, a society that was shaped by colonialism. We have created this society itself. The colonial masters have organized the space for themselves, not for us Congolese. For us, it is now a question of: How can we reorganize the room again for us? How can we make it so that we can live with the fact that the institutions and the state are available to us and serve us? In this process, this historic art can help us works."

exhibition "a fiction of the Congo" in the Museum Rietberg to 15. March 2020

Created: 27.11.2019, 17:03 PM

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