“African art is an enormous ethical misunderstanding, which I try to take advantage of without aggravating; but this leaves me with only a narrow margin for maneuver.

“African art is an enormous ethical misunderstanding, which I try to take advantage of without aggravating; but this leaves me with only a narrow margin for maneuver.

BIO
Born in Sudan, residing in France, Musa is an image creator with a multiplicity of references: the European painting, the Arabic calligraphy or the Chinese watercolor. Along with his solo shows, he participated in major exhibits such as the Venice Biennial and Africa Remix.

The painting of Musa uses printed assembled textiles as canvas and often appropriates classical Western masterpieces to confront them with latter-day icons such as Vincent van Gogh, Josephine Baker, Che Guevara or Osama bin Laden. His critical view on western art, politics and culture serves a logic of transmission: Musa gives back the images of the world to the world. « Images are like blows: we receive them, we give them back. We transmit violent things because that is the way we receive them. It’s a way to survive, my images are my line of defense », declares the artist. 

“African art is an enormous ethical misunderstanding, which I try to take advantage of without aggravating; but this leaves me with only a narrow margin for maneuver. Personally as an artist born in Africa, but with no urge to bear the burden of the African artist, I know that the only opportunities open to me present my work in public outside Africa are of the “ethnic” type, where people assign to me the role of “the other African” in places designed for the kind of seasonal ritual where a certain kind of Africa is “in favour”. It is a situation which is not lacking in ambivalence, and which gives me the impression of being a hostage to this strange machine which integrates African-born artists into the world of art, while at the same time shunting them off into a category apart.”

Hassan Musa 

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