Okeke-Agulu: Chris, thanks for shifting into the second thread of my question about our approach to the idea of contemporary African art. One reason I want us to deliberate on this question arose, in a way, from the ongoing El Anatsui exhibition at the National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka (his retrospective, organized by Enid’s Museum for African Art opened at the encyclopedic Royal Ontario Museum).  In the issue of Nka due out shortly, Yukiya who co-organized the Osaka exhibition, defends the role of ethnology museums in framing and presenting the work of contemporary African artists who, for the most part, still have very limited access to major art museums. At the same time, contemporary African artists who came to international attention through museums other than those dedicated to modern and contemporary African art have often had some difficulty gaining access to the latter once their work has been associated with an ethnological discourse. As Chris points out, some museums, such as the BM, have been restructuring—and this includes, I believe, the Marla’s Fowler Museum—closing or at least shaking up the boundaries between the art and ethnology museum. But I am interested in what we think, in light of these, about the different valences, gains, shortcomings, and problems the work of contemporary African artists face when they are inserted into the discursive spaces offered by art, ethnology, or what one might call hybrid museums.

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