African Arts and Design

In fall 2023, Bard Graduate Center Gallery will host the exhibition “SIGHTLINES with Peace, Power, Prestige: The Metal Arts of Africa.” The exhibition places historical metalwork in conversation with contemporary art, and explores how technologies of metal making and histories of use travel across time and space. Exhibition design is also featured as an equal player alongside the displayed historical and contemporary works. On the occasion of the exhibition, students will be invited to explore histories of art, design, and craft of Africa and the diaspora, many of which will be featured in the exhibition. Under study will be a range of historical and contemporary media, including metalwork, textiles, architecture, furniture, and installation art. Of discussion will be Euro-American gazes on African objects and the role of exhibition design in creating images of Africa in Western museum institutions. The class aims to illustrate the complicated creative practices and aesthetics of Africa and the Diaspora. Also, the course will introduce students to a range of curatorial and exhibition design practices. As part of the course, students will observe the installation of the BGC exhibition and participate in exhibition-related programming, including a symposium and artist residencies. 3 credits. Satisfies the geocultural or chronological requirement.