Meschac Gaba was born in Cotonou, Benin in 1961. He lives between Netherlands, where he studied and Benin. From 1996 to 1997 he studied at the Rijksakademie voor Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam.Meschac Gaba works with installation, like his 12 rooms. It was at the Rijksmuseum, Leiden (Netherlands), in 1997 that Gaba inaugurated his major work, the Museum of Contemporary African Art, a project in which the artist installed 12 ‘rooms’ of a nomadic museum in various institutions.
“I needed a space for my work, because this did not exist” with these words the artist describes his Museum of Contemporary African Art. The visitors actively partecipate with the rooms and with the objects inside, like in the ‘Game Room’ in which the visitors’re invited to play with the puzzle inside. The game is ever present in each room. Gaba’s museum is not a traditional museum, he creates an alternative space in which the visitor is the protagonist with the objects. We remember also the “Museum Restaurant” (1999) or the “Music Room” (1997-2002). The Museum of Contemporary African Art (1997-2002) was acquired by Tate and exhibited at Tate Modern, London, in 2013.
Meschac Gaba’s global flag, Citoyen du Monde, is the Socrates Sculpture Park’s spring Broadway Billboard, on view in Long Island City, Queens, from 11 May to 3 August. He is included on The Theatre of the World at Museo Tamayo, Mexico (12 June – 31 December). Meschac Gaba is represented by Stevenson Cape Town and Johannesburg.
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