Bodys Isek Kingelez

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Edited by: Yilmaz Dziewior Texts by: Yilmaz Dziewior, Okwui Enwezor, Bodys Isek Kingelez, André Magnin German, English, French 2001, 112 Pages, 38 Ills. Softcover 282mm x 209mm
ISBN: 978-3-7757-1054-1

Bodys Isek Kingelez, a native Congolese, makes colorful postmodernist models of buildings and cities from paper, cardboard and wood. While they can easily be read as a reaction against Western attempts at domesticating African creativity, they also work as a comment on the so-called 'Afro kitsch' in contemporary African sculpture and architecture that caters primarily to the expectations of Western tourists. And yet, Kingelez' city models also point towards the giant, highly problematic building projects frequently to be found now throughout Africa and the Third World: modern or postmodern excesses of urban planning, financed by World Bank loans that are nearly impossible to pay back. Oversized and largely ignoring the needs of the population, many of them are in ruins before they have been completed. In the words of Okwui Enwezor, "The future of most African urban projects lies in the past." This book presents the artist's most important works and includes illustrative texts by Yilmaz Dziewior, Okwui Enwezor, André Magnin as well as Kingelez himself. The artist: Bodys Isek Kingelez was born in 1948 at Kimbembele-Ihunga in what was formerly Zaire and is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In the seventies, he worked as a restorator for traditional African masks at the National Museum in Kinshasa. He has been building his models since 1978. In 1989, he took part in the Paris exhibition Les Magiciens de la Terre. Kingelez lives and works in Kinshasa, Congo. Exhibition Schedule: Kunstverein in Hamburg 3.3.-6.5.2001