Tracing Cheikh Anta Diop

Vanessa Van Obberghen


Photography, 84 x 100 cm.
Materials: digital print on aluminium foil mounted on dibond

Collection: Courtesy Timmy Simoens.

Vanessa van Obberghen (°1969, Seoul, Republic of Korea) uses different media to reflect upon matters such as perception, migration and integration. Her works are concerned with the role of the 'document,' and the misunderstandings that arise when these come to be translated. Van Obberghen makes the glances and points-of-view themselves into the subject of her observations. In her oeuvre, the artist wishes to create space and time for viewers to call their own prejudices into question.

In her research into Cheikh Anta Diop, one of the founders of Pan-Africanism, van Obberghen puts the emphasis on the various roles he fulfilled: scientist, philosopher, anthropologist, linguist and politician. With Tracing Cheikh Anta Diop, the artist translates her own personal vision of this documentary history into an image. Inspired by Cheikh Anta Diop's fascination for genetics and DNA, she uses an Asiatic model to address stereotypical thinking with regards to Africa's post-colonial history.

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