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Art Gallery the Eye and the Hand

Listed injured

Repair in Africa

Repair, mend, strengthen, seal ... Listed blessésaborde unexplored subject of compensation by local indigenous people. This publication opens a new perspective on African objects, and features 120 "objects wounded" among the 500 selected objects repaired Musée du Quai Branly. The catalog offers many points of view because every culture that gives the repair of objects, rituals or customary, a different form and meaning.

But he also wondered about the poetic nature of the restoration. In this supplement almost mystical power of life and that the gesture of the man gives the object, it seems permanently removed from the ephemeral. In addition, repair is a mark of authenticity, if indeed we do not seek to falsify it.

The first section defines the meaning of the word "reparation" in French as well as in a number of African languages. Are then highlighted the differences between repair and restoration. Finally ethnological thinking is the act of reparation in the complex life of the object.

The second part explores the meaning of compensation for the three main religions in the continent: animism, Islam and Christianity.

The third part raises a more analytical, the question of compensation for three different cultures: Maghreb, Dogon, Gabon.

The final text shows the importance of the concepts of tear and repair in contemporary Western art.

96 pages format 20 x 26 cm

58 color illustrations

Retail price: 25 €

Isbn 978-2 915-133-48-6 / 978-88-7439-380-0

Co-published Branly - 5 Continents

Gaetano Speranza, Society of Ethnology, University of Paris X-Nanterre.

Hana Chidiac, Michele Dejean, Marie-Claude Dupre, Eric Jolly, Kadidia Devautour Kane, Salia Malé, Françoise Monnin Perrois Louis, Albert Rouet, Paulette Roulon-Doko

objects wounded. repair in Africa
June 19 to September 16, 2007

repair, restore, mend, strengthen, seal ...

"Objects wounded" addresses the theme of unexplored local repair by indigenous peoples.

The exhibition focuses on the African collections of the Musée du Quai Branly, and has 110 "objects wounded" among the 500 selected objects repaired in the collection (60,000 pieces).

A video and photographs complement the exhibition by providing a contemporary look at the Malian repairers.

Listed injured. The repair work in Africa, edited by Gaetano Speranza, co-published Branly / 5 Continents.
Editorial by Gaetano Speranza, curator Listed injured

Calabash, Mali

Calabash detail

"Originally, the idea is simple: we study and expose the remedy, widely present in Africa, but neglected in our collections and our research. But things get complicated when we question the meaning of words.

We repair a broken gourd. But do we repair the Mosque of Djenne? The posts which are outside the body of the mosque are simultaneously structural elements inherent in its construction, and steps can cover it when it is necessary to rehabilitate.

In the West, it does not repair a cathedral, it restores and consolidates it, and it destroyed skyscrapers to replace them by others.

Mask, Cote d'Ivoire

Reliquary guardian, Kota, Gabon. Details

If a pierced or broken container does not fulfill its function, it must be repaired or replaced. But from what degree of degradation a mask or a statue lose their functionality ritual? And what kind of intervention can we restore this functionality? The repair did this single objective or does it just to prevent further degradation of the object?

It is also the result of interventions that could be mistaken for a repair, and yet, are an addition, simple decor. Sometimes, what appears as a remedy is a constituent part of the original structure of the object. For instance, a ligature of large string that covers the legs of a statue may be the semblance of a disease.

Mariam Traore and Sitan Koumaré. Repairing a clay pot

In a harp, we replace the strings, and if a key case, it is replaced too, but is it a repair or maintenance? However, if a rat eats the skin of the table that surrounds the hearing, one sews a piece of skin and is good repair.

And if it closes a gap in a statue with cloth or resin, can we still speak of repair?

Finally, could we think that the gods were going to get involved? Every religion, every culture has a different interpretation to the object of his injuries, his repairs. Thus, the apparently simple and unambiguous concept of "compensation" we will develop in all its complexity. "

objects: © Musée du quai Branly photo Patrick Gries

the potters: media e © photo Lawrence Schneiter


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