Disguise: Masks & Global African Art

October 18, 2015–March 13, 2016

This dynamic exhibition considers the past, present, and future of disguise - a visual act that can be a mask, a costume, or simply a camouflage. Disguise features exciting new works by twelve contemporary artists from Africa and of African descent who explore the impulse of disguise with optical illusions, street actions, computer magic, and virtual reality. Together these works will engage visitors’ imaginations as they consider the art of masking as a transformative process – one that is informed by a multiplicity of influences, from historical African masquerade traditions to contemporary global culture and digital media. 

The artists in Disguise use a variety of creative mediums, including drawings, photographs, videos, masks, sculptures, performances, and installations to hide identity and reveal issues of social, political or cultural import. The twelve featured artists are: Jakob Dwight, Brendan Fernandes, Nandipha Mntambo, Emeka Ogboh, Wura-Natasha Ogunji, Walter Oltmann, Sondra R. Perry, Zina Saro-Wiwa, Jacolby Satterwhite, Sam Vernon, William Villalongo, and Saya Woolfalk.

In-Gallery Live PerformancesChimaTEK: Virtual Chimeric Space

Dates: 

Sunday, November 15, 2015 at 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm, 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm

Thursday, November 19, 2015 at 6:00 pm, 6:30 pm, 7:00 pm, 7:30 pm

Sunday, December 6, 2015 at 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm, 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm

Sunday, January 4, 2016 at 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm, 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm

Sunday, February 7, 2016 at 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm, 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm

Sunday, March 13, 2016 at 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm, 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm

Experience Saya Woolfalk’s ChimaTEK: Virtual Chimeric Space come to life when an Empathic periodically activates the space. ChimaTEK: Virtual Chimeric Space was choreographed by Laara Garcia and will be performed by UCLA World Arts and Cultures Dance students Lissette Argoud and Daeun Jung. 

 

Press Release
Exhibition Credits

Disguise: Masks and Global African Art is organized by the Seattle Art Museum and is curated by Pamela McClusky, Curator of African and Oceanic Art for the Seattle Art Museum, and Erika Dalya Massaquoi, Consultant Curator. Major funding for the Los Angeles presentation of Disguise is provided by the Barbara and Joseph Goldenberg Fund, the Shirley and Ralph Shapiro Director’s Discretionary Fund, an anonymous donor, the Y&S Nazarian Family Foundation, Dallas Price-Van Breda, and Manus, the support group of the Fowler Museum. Additional support comes from the Fowler Contemporary Council and the following members: Susan Burnett and Steve Dyer, Bronya and Andy Galef, Sarah and Bill Odenkirk, and Valerie and Brad Cohen.

 
 
Image Credits

Top banner image credit: 

An Ancestor Takes a Photograph (video still), 2014, Wura-Natasha Ogunji, United States/Nigeria, b. 1970, video, filmed in Lagos, Nigeria, Seattle Art Museum, Commission, 2015. © Wura-Natasha Ogunji.  

Animated GIF credits (from top to bottom):

Voo Doo You Doo Speak, 2010, Brendan Fernandes,Kenya/Canada, b. 1979, 4 monitors on totemic structures, mixed media (animation, sounds, architectural sculpture with wood, metal, and plastic), loan from the artist. © Brendan Fernandes, Photo courtesy of the artist. 
An Ancestor Takes a Photograph, 2014, Wura-Natasha Ogunji, United States/Nigeria, b. 1970, video, filmed in Lagos, Nigeria, Seattle Art Museum, Commission, 2015. © Wura-Natasha Ogunji.  
ChimaTEK: Virtual Chimeric Space, 2015, Saya Woolfalk, United States, b. 1979, installation with five costumes with 3-D masks and video, dimensions variable, Seattle Art Museum, Commission, 2015. © Saya Woolfalk, Courtesy of the artist and Leslie Tonkonow, Artworks + Projects, NY.
The Autonomous Prism / MSK03 (video still), 2010-2014, Jakob Dwight, American, b. 1977, 16 digital videos, looped in continuous playback, DVD for plasma or projection, 4+ minutes, Seattle Art Museum, Commission, 2015. © Jakob Dwight, courtesy of the artist.