Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Phyllis Galembo: West African Masquerade

Phyllis Galembo
Mami Wata Mask, Cross River, Nigeria
[West African Masquerade]

30 x 30 in

Steven Kasher Gallery
Courtesy of the Steven Kasher Gallery and the artist Phyllis Galembo


At the Fowler Museum at UCLA in Los Angeles there was a remarkable exhibition on Mami Wata: Arts for Water Spirits in Africa and Its Diasporas (April 6 - August 10, 2008) that showed the material complexity of a highly significant spiritual personality within the traditions and beliefs of Africa and the African Atlantic. Mama Wata, the water spirit with numerous guises, is one of the cast of characters who appears in this exhibition by New York-based photographer Phyllis Galembo.

Since 1997 Phyllis has attended festivals or sought out the masked performers who participate in the rituals of Benin, Nigeria and Burkina Faso. She has also followed the paths of the African diasporas to the Caribbean and recorded carnival in Haiti. Her portraits of costumed performers show us the material culture of the spirit world - the fashions of belief.

Thanks to Phyllis Galembo for her assistance with this exhibition.

There is an online exhibition on Luminous-Lint.

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