The boomerang effect
The Musée d’Ethnographie de Genève will present a hitherto unseen collection of autochthonous Australian artworks from May 19, 2017, until January 7, 2018. Titled L’effet boomerang. Les arts aborigènes d’Australie (The Boomerang Effect: The Aboriginal Arts of Australia), the exhibition examines the origins of an art tradition that is deeply rooted in its ancestral territory and exists in osmosis with nature. A series of utilitarian objects and artifacts, including boomerangs, spear throwers, clubs, message sticks, etc., demonstrate aspects of Aborigine daily life. Captivating mythological tales and accounts allow insight into their philosophy and spirituality. Using artworks ranging from acrylic paintings of the 1970s to those produced by the Ghost Net Art Project, which started in 2004, the exhibition presents a journey through time from 60,000 years ago to the present, tracing the Aboriginal quest for identity. Rather than being simply aesthetic or utilitarian, the art represents struggle and has a militant dimension.
Jack London in the South Seas
In this exhibition, the Musée d’Arts Africains, Océaniens, Amérindiens (MAAOA) offers you to explore author Jack London’s remarkable adventure at sea. Accompanied by his wife, Charmian, and crew aboard his ketch, the Snark, he traveled throughout the Pacific Islands between 1907 and 1909. The trip served as inspiration for many of his novels and short stories, but he also collected artworks from and took photographs of his various ports of call. The exhibition looks at these widespread archipelagos and the cultural diversity and artistic abilities of the faraway peoples who inhabit them. In addition to objects from London’s personal collection, it presents a fine selection of Oceanic artworks from the MAAOA’s collection and from those of other museums with specialized collections of tribal art. Excerpts from Charmian London’s journals enhance the presentation, as do movie clips by Martin Johnson, the cook and mechanic aboard the Snark, who later became a filmmaker. A documentary on Jack London by Michel Viotte completes the portrait of this exceptional man.
We and the others. From prejudices to racism.
The Musée de l’Homme examines racist behaviours with a scientific approach in his first important temporary exhibition. Informations are only available in French : Avec la volonté d’apporter un éclairage scientifique sur les comportements racistes et les préjugés, le Musée de l’Homme réaffirme son identité, celle d’un lieu de débats, d’échanges et de transmission des savoirs. Au croisement de l’anthropologie, de la biologie, de la sociologie et de l’histoire, l’exposition s’appuie sur des études menées par les chercheurs en sciences de l’Homme et de la société. Elle propose un parcours accessible à tous, qui s’attache à décrypter pourquoi et comment ont pu se mettre en place de tels phénomènes, à un certain moment de l’histoire des sociétés. Dans une scénographie immersive originale - qui place par exemple le visiteur au coeur d’une salle d’embarquement d’aéroport ou d’une terrasse de café - le public est invité à comprendre les mécanismes individuels et collectifs qui conduisent au rejet des « autres », et à prendre conscience des discriminations dans la société française aujourd’hui.
The famous londinense museum lifts the veil on the history of the Scythians with "Scythians: Warriors of Ancient Siberia". These feared nomadic and warlike tribes of the Eurasian steppes prospered between 900 and 200 BC. While they are known to have had contact with the ancient Greeks, the Assyrians, and the Persians, virtually all traces of their culture have been lost. The exhibition presents objects that have been buried under ice for centuries, maintaining a perfect state of preservation before being discovered in tumuli in the high mountains of the Southern Altai in Siberia. Some of them are more than 2,500 years old. Two hundred items—weapons, adornments, textiles, clothing, utensils—document the everyday lives of this enigmatic culture. The installation demonstrates that the Scythians practiced the art of tattooing and many were expert horsemen. Vestiges of tattoos depicting combat situations involving animals are on view, and we also learn that Scythians were buried with their horses, which were believed to help them reach the next world.
"Rebuilding the Cherokee Nation" at the Gilcrease Museum
Beginning in the late eighteenth century, Cherokee leaders embarked on a strategy to facilitate government-to-government relations by creating institutions comparable to those of the United States. These advancements were bolstered by widespread literacy that came about with the 1821 introduction of the Cherokee writing system, called the Sequoyah Syllabary. Despite these adaptive efforts, in 1830, the U.S. Congress passed the Indian Removal Act, authorizing the forceable removal of 46,000 Native Americans from their ancestral lands. Within the decade, some 15,000 Cherokee were compelled by the military to move from their homelands east of the Mississippi to Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma). The journey west was arduous, with the very old and very young suffering the most. Hundreds died along the way. Despite this seemingly impossible situation, the Cherokee put down new roots and thrived in this new environment. Through art, material culture, and manuscripts, "After Removal: Rebuilding the Cherokee Nation" at the Gilcrease Museum, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, tells the story of resilience in the face of extreme adversity and the rebirth of the Cherokee Nation.
Africa/Americas: Photographic Portraits
"Africa/Americas: Photographic Portraits by Pierre Verger" presents thirty-two striking black-and-white images by renowned French photographer and anthropological researcher Pierre Verger (1902–1996). It is the first solo museum exhibition of Verger’s work in the United States. Verger traveled extensively during his prolific career, and Africa/Americas includes photographs from the Republic of Benin, Brazil, Cuba, Haiti, Nigeria, Suriname, and the United States. However, his central focus was the exploration of enduring continuities linking peoples and cultures of West Africa and the African Diaspora. Over the course of five decades, he took an estimated 65,000 photographs with his Rolleiflex camera, depicting individuals and groups in humanistic, light-drenched portraits. His approach to photography placed great emphasis on the beauty of the human form as encountered in scenes of everyday life.
"Golden Kingdoms" at the Getty Center
This major international loan exhibition at the Getty Center will explore the idea of luxury in the Pre-Columbian Americas, particularly as seen in the associations between materials and meanings, from about 1000 BC until the arrival of Europeans in the early sixteenth century. Titled "Golden Kingdoms: Luxury and Legacy in the Ancient Americas", the show will trace the development of metallurgy in the Andes and its expansion northward into Mexico. In contrast with other parts of the world, ancient Americans first used metal not for weaponry, tools, or coinage but for objects of ritual and ornament, which resulted in works of extraordinary creativity. In addition to objects of gold and silver, the exhibition will feature artworks made from shell, jade, and textile, materials that would have been considered even more valuable than noble metals. The exhibition will cast new light on the most precious works of art from the ancient Americas and provide new ways of thinking about materials, luxury, and the visual arts in a global perspective. The exhibition is co-organized with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which will present the exhibition following its showing at the Getty.
Six Hundred Years of Receptacles: Tableware Through the Ages
Founded in 1977, the Barbier-Mueller Museum is celebrating its fortieth anniversary this year. To mark it, the institution is presenting a special exhibition featuring a hundred works of varied provenances, periods, and cultures drawn from its collection. Six Thousand Years of Receptacles: Tableware Through the Ages was the brainchild of Michel Butor. The late French author selected each object according to the role that its shape suggested to him. He then wrote a short poem for each object. These objects, sometimes masterpieces, now serving as ambassadors for cultures around the planet, are set in dialog with vases by contemporary Western artists. Each is a reflection of the aesthetic criteria prevailing in the culture from which it comes. The ritual or ceremonial contexts in which the pieces were used are also explored. The breadth's exhibition is a fitting tribute to the museum’s founder, Jean Paul Barbier-Mueller, who recently left us.
Art of the Americas
"Art of the Americas: Mesoamerican, Pre-Columbian Art from Mingei’s Permanent Collection" is the most comprehensive presentation to date of the Mingei International Museum’s significant holdings of objects made and used by people from the ancient cultures of Mexico and Central and South America. Objects featured in the exhibition straddle cultural boundaries, from the Olmec and Maya in Mexico to the Moche in Peru, as well as numerous localized ancient traditions and cultures, such as the indigenous Teuchitlán, Zoque, Huastec, and West Mexico societies. The works range from objects made for ritual and ceremonial use—figurines, vessels and sculptures depicting gods, shamans, animals, marine life, and floral motifs—to objects for domestic use, including jars, bowls, spindle whorls, ocarinas (wind instruments), roller stamps used for decorating cloth, and adornments such as beads and ear spools. A rare collection of Maya textile fragments and ancient beads will also be presented.
Collecting Art, Collecting Memories
Twenty-five compelling works recently added to the collection of the Asian Art Museum— including expressive indigenous carving, jewelry, textiles, Spanish colonial devotional statues, postwar genre and landscape paintings, and works of contemporary art—are among the artworks that have been brought together for a special exhibition that relates the fascinating and complex stories of the Philippines. "Philippine Art: Collecting Art, Collecting Memories" reveals the Philippines’ role as a center of artistic exchange and innovation, where artists with their own indigenous religions and traditions were exposed to new ideas from the trade between China and India. The expansion of Islam to the archipelago, and later the long periods of Spanish and American colonialism, have made the arts of the Philippines unlike those from anywhere else in the world. On view until March 11, 2018, this exhibition is the result of more than a decade of study and collecting by the museum’s curatorial team.