Beyond Aesthetics: Use, Abuse, and Dissonance in African Art Traditions
The playwright, poet, essayist, novelist, and Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka is also a longtime art collector. This book of essays offers a glimpse into the motivations of the collector, as well as a highly personal look at the politics of aesthetics and collecting. Detailing moments of first encounter with objects that drew him in and continue to affect him, Soyinka describes a world of mortals, muses, and deities that imbue the artworks with history and meaning. 'Beyond Aesthetics' is a passionate discussion of the role of identity, tradition, and originality in making, collecting, and exhibiting African art today. Soyinka considers objects that have stirred controversy, and he decries dogmatic efforts - whether colonial or religious - to suppress Africa's artistic traditions. By turns poetic, provocative, and humorous, Soyinka affirms the power of collecting to reclaim tradition.