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Talks

African Mask: Meaning, Motif and History

African masks

Photo: AGO Photographer Sean Weaver © 2008 Art Gallery of Ontario.

Talks

African Mask: Meaning, Motif and History

January 21, 2009

Professor Bolaji Campbell is a Yoruba artist and scholar who teaches at the Rhode Island School of Art and Design. In this talk, he will explore masking traditions in Africa and its resonance in the African Diaspora. Find out how the mask is part of interrelated systems of knowledge, involving religious beliefs, philosophical ethos, social practices, artistic creativity, musical and theatrical performances. To behold the mask is to encounter the mysterious, the wonderful and the fearful. Consider the mask as the mediating force at the intersection between the real and the imagined, the concrete and the imperceptible, the serious and the playful, the whimsical and the terrifying, the living and the dead. And experience masks also as part of a multisensory tradition shaping ways the tangible world of the living and the invincible realm of the departed is perceived, re-envisioned and understood.

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