Because of my experience at Princeton, and because of what I’d seen in the Carrie Mae Weems exhibition, I decided to stick my head in the Africa section of the Cantor Center.* I’m glad I did since there’s a fantastic Keïta print** up on display right now. I had only seen his work online until then. As impressive his work is online, the actual print is worlds better. Definitely worth seeking it out if you’re in the area.
*I didn’t feel like looking through everything else that day.
**Which I’m unfortunately unable to find an image of online.
The Cantor African artifacts are across multiple rooms with one room specifically dedicated to post-1950 pieces which addresses the post-colonial sense of Africa as part of the global stage. As much as the “Africa is a country” thing is an annoying Western ignorant viewpoint, I found that it worked in this case. The commonality of having to deal with resolving cultures after Europe messed with things in the continent makes sense to me. The presentation wasn’t about how all Africa was the same but rather how different African artists dealt with the cultural whiplash of being unleashed from colonialism and set loose in the global economy.
That the items on display were actually intended as art rather than artifact also helped. As does the fact they were clearly marked as modern.