Gaba, Meschac
Born in 1961 in Cotonou, Benin. Lives and works in Cotonou and Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
Since the mid-1990s, Meschac Gaba has investigated the multitudes between Africa and the Western world in the construction of cultural identity. Addressing the politics of museum display, Gaba is best known for his Museum of Contemporary African Art, a project in which he installed 12 'rooms' of a nomadic museum in various institutions over a period of six years starting in 1996, culminating with the presentation of a Humanist Space at Documenta 11 in 2002. The entire work now belongs to the permanent collection of Tate, London. Gaba is also well known for his architectonic wigs that reconstruct famous landmarks out of woven hair, looking at the way in which architectural forms are imbued with cultural meaning. Solo exhibitions include those at Tate Modern, London (2012); Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2009); Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2005); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2002); Witte de With, Rotterdam (2001) and S.M.A.K., Ghent (1999).
Meschac Gaba, Blaaktoren (The Pencil), 2016, Braided wig of synthetic hair, 60 x 25 x 25 cm. Courtesy the artist and Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London. Photo: Krijn van Noordwijk|Meschac Gaba, 'Diamants indigènes', 2009, Wood and glass suitcase, watches and currency dots, 51 x 65 x 7,5 cm, Unique piece, Courtesy Galery In Situ - fabienne leclerc