Meschac Gaba in conversation with Chris Dercon

3 Jul 2013

Regular hours

10:00 – 18:00

Cost of entry

£12, concessions available

Tate Modern

London, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • Bus: 45, 63, 100, 344, 381, RV1
  • Tube: Southwark/Blackfriars
  • Train: London Bridge

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This event is a special occasion to mark Tate's largest acquisition and display of Meschac Gaba's complex work titled: Museum of Contemporary African Art 1997—2002, which took him five years to complete and which established Gaba as one of the most important African artists working today. Join us for a unique opportunity to hear the artist talk to Tate Modern's Director, Chris Dercon about this work, the significance of its display at the Tate Modern and where it fits within his practice more broadly. Chris Dercon interviewed Meschac Gaba in 2000 at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, where Dercon was Director at that time. That same autumn Gaba married Alexandra van Dongen, curator of pre-industrial design at the museum, in an official civil ceremony at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, for which Dercon acted as a witness. Documentation of the wedding features in the Marriage Room of the display. This talk will not only include personal anecdotes of their friendship but give an opportunity to hear more about the display and story behind how it came to Tate Modern. The Museum of Contemporary African Art 1997—2002 consists of twelve sections which correspond to spaces within cultural institutions that allow interaction and exchange, including a salon, library, museum shop and restaurant. Gaba's museum challenges preconceived notions of what African art is and provides a new discursive space for social and cultural interaction where the interconnectedness of art and life is made manifest. As the artist himself explains ‘My museum doesn't exist. It's only a question … What I do is react to an African situation which is linked to a Eurocentric problem.'


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