Berns: And, with all due respect to Laurie, you seem not to have understood what Chika meant by offering a hybrid space as an alternative to the “either/or” of an art or ethnology museum. None of us would call our museums as a category, “hybrid.” I think it is code here for an institution that does not adhere to the strict definitions by which many museums clearly define themselves as an “art” or an “ethnology” museum. We can see from the discussion that there are many museums that would not like to be considered as anything BUT an art museum. We are not being defensive here, we are engaging with questions that are provoking us to take positions and consider what they mean.
And, it is incredibly naive to think that most contemporary art curators, even those who live in major cities like Los Angeles, have much knowledge of contemporary African artists. You may be right that European curators are more adventurous. And, you have totally missed the point of my Nick Cave example. Obviously, I know he is not an “Africa-born” artist.