April 26, 2012 Leave a comment
Originally posted on Africa is a Country:
Guest Post by Jennifer Bajorek and Erin Haney
The recent announcement of the Guggenheim Foundation’s new “Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative” bears all of the hallmarks of the present era. It is funded by a bank. It has the word “global” in its title. It claims explicitly to challenge “a Western-centric view of art history,” according to the Foundation’s director, Richard Armstrong, in a piece by Carol Vogel recently published in The New York Times. The project will mount this challenge by investing in series of linked-up residencies, exhibitions, acquisitions for the museum’s permanent collections, and public programming with artists, curators and educators in parts of the world hitherto largely ignored by the museum. The modus operandi is encouraging, particularly when compared with late-20th-century attempts to bring non-Western art into dialogue with institutions in the North. The list of regions is long, and includes South and Southeast Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa. One thing it is not, however, is global: Africa south of the Sahara, and thus 2/3 of the continent, has been excluded.