Kunsthaus Graz Universalmuseum Joanneum presents Romuald Hazoume Beninese Solidarity with Endangered Westerners

. September 21, 2013

Kunsthaus Graz Universalmuseum Joanneum presents Romuald Hazoume
Beninese Solidarity with Endangered Westerners on view September 21, 2013–January 12, 2014.

Romuald Hazoumè, ONG-SBOP, 2011. Angelique Kidjo sings and dances with generous donators. Photo: Romuald Hazoumè. Courtesy of the artist and October Gallery, London. © VBK, Vienna 2013.

Romuald Hazoumè, ONG-SBOP, 2011. Angelique Kidjo sings and dances with generous donators. Photo: Romuald Hazoumè. Courtesy of the artist and October Gallery, London. © VBK, Vienna 2013.


Complex migration conditions demand a complex understanding of post-colonialism on the part of Europe’s multicultural societies. The lasting impact on the global situation from colonialism, decolonialisation and neo-colonialist tendencies brings to mind in various ways a kind of ‘liaison dangereuse.’ The shifting of the term ‘post-colonial’ to a fundamental critique of the modern knowledge system and of the unifying discourse of Western rationalism results in modernity being qualified as a determining element. At present we are observing the emergence of an art that lays claim to global contemporaneity without borders or history. Given that contemporary art touches on problems that are of relevance worldwide, it has to be described as fundamentally global. The origin of an artist is relativised, and the question that becomes key is where an artist finds his audience.

The African artist Romuald Hazoumè (born in 1962 in Porto-Novo, Benin; lives in Cotonou and works in Porto-Novo) founded the NGO Beninese Solidarity with Endangered Westerners with the aim of helping impoverished people in Europe. In so doing, he intervenes suddenly in this thick web of discourse, opening up an entirely new perspective. The hegemonic, euro-centric cultural claim is thereby cancelled, as are the accompanying political and social dynamics. In his projects Romuald Hazoumè reverses deadlocked circumstances and in this way makes a unique contribution to the post-colonial discourse. The themes, apparently deeply African, can be found at the interface between cultural traditions, as well as socio- and eco-political areas. In the context of globalization, it will no longer be possible in the future to consider problems from one perspective only. The African problem is rapidly a European one, and afterwards a global one. Art makes it possible here to read things in reverse: how would it be if Africans got together to help impoverished people in the west?

Kunsthaus Graz
Universalmuseum Joanneum
Lendkai 1, 8020 Graz
Austria
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–5pm
T +43 316/8017 9200
kunsthausgraz@museum-joanneum.at

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