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“Looking at Africa through the eyes of contemporary art, photography, architecture and design is perhaps the most appropriate way of approaching this vast, powerful continent, so creatively rich and diverse that today it is still one of Western modernity’s greatest sources of inspiration,” said creative director Patrizia Moroso of the Italian furniture brand’s M’Afrique C’est Chic exhibition.
Devised by Moroso, the exhibition entailed products designed by Tord Boontje, Birsel+Seck, Patricia Urquiola and Stephen Burks, which were made in Africa by local craftspeople. Urquiola and Philippe Bestenaider also contributed new work inspired by Africa, and iconic Moroso designs were reissued in African fabrics.
As designer of the final exhibition for the Moroso showroom, Burks further sought out contemporary African artists, showing large-scale street photography by Mandémory, sculpture and drawings by Soly Cissé, and site-specific installations by Fathi Hassan. Architect David Adjaye also showed his photographic documentation of Dakar, Addis Ababa, Harare, Pretoria and Bamako.
“The point of the project for me was to create a new contemporary vision of Africa. Africa is so diverse and complex, yet when most people think of the continent, they imagine the worst – economic disparity, people dying of Aids and hunger, civil unrest and violence. It was important for us to show the positive, vibrant, creative, collaborative side of Africa,” said Burks.