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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:African tourist art as tradition and product of the postcolonial exotic
Author:Van Haute, BernadetteISNI
Periodical:International Journal of African Renaissance Studies
Geographic term:Subsaharan Africa
Subjects:visual arts
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/18186870902840325
Abstract:Figurative art made in Central and West Africa for the global market and offered for sale at markets in South Africa is a form of tourist art: these masks and statues are copies of replicas that imitate traditional forms of art. This article summarizes the criticism levelled against the terminology used within this field of art historical study and discusses the commodification of postcolonial African art which led to the marginalization of the producers. The most controversial issues in the discourse on African tourist art have been the concepts of traditional African art and authenticity. The article investigates the role of the artist in preserving tradition and the role of the trader who, as cultural broker, exoticizes the object. Since it can be argued that these are acts of decolonizing, African tourist art can be regarded as a product of the postcolonial exotic, as defined by Graham Huggan (2001). Accepting the inescapability of postcoloniality, tourist art can be repositioned as a successful attempt to preserve and promote African cultural traditions and identity in the new era. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract, edited]