Disguise: Masks and Global African Art at The Brooklyn Museum, through September 18, 2016

Photographs by Corrado Serra.

“Through play and provocation, and by engaging both African history and contemporary global politics, Disguise invites us to think critically about our world and our place within it, and to imagine whimsical and tangible possibilities for the future. It includes an immersive and lively installation of video, digital media, sound, and installation art, as well as photography and sculpture.

The exhibition features contemporary artists from Africa and of African descent working across the globe—including twelve in Brooklyn and the New York area—who offer fresh visions of masquerade. Presented alongside historical masks, the contemporary works provoke, in often intentionally discomforting ways, a heightened awareness of key contemporary issues such as race, women’s agency, queerness, the exoticization and eroticization of the ‘other,’ governmental corruption, and the limits of empathetic understanding.” — Brooklyn Museum


Exhibition entrance of “Disguise: Masks and Global African Art”


Installation view of exhibition entrance.


Installation view of exhibition entrance.


Left: Unknown Loma Artist, Horizontal Mask (Okobuzogui), early 20th century. Center: Unknown Yoruba Artist, Helmet Mask (Igbudu), 19th century. Right: Unknown Bamum Artist or Tikar Artist, Funerary Headdress (Tugunga), late 19th century.


Left: Unknown Mende Artist, Helmet Mask for Sande Society (Ndoli Jowei), late 19th-early 20th century. Center: Mende Artist, Helmet Mask (ndoli jowei) for Sande Society, 20th century. Right: Unknown Bamana Artist, Headdress (Ci-wara Kun), 20th century.


Left: Paul Anthony Smith, Woman #3, 2013, Unique picotage on archival pigment print. Center: Nandipha Mntambo, Europa, 2008, Photograph, printed 2015 and Nandipha Mntambo, Sengifkile: Now I’m Here, 2009, Bronze.


Center: Unknown Mende Artist. Mask (Sowei), 20th century. Wood, raffia, metal.


Saya Woolfalk, ChimaTEK: Virtual Reality Station, 2015. Installation with one costumed figure, two video monitors installed in metal armature, video, continuous loop, 2 minutes.


Saya Woolfalk, ChimaTEK: Virtual Chimeric Space, 2015. Installation with 5 costumed figures with 3-D masks, projected video, 3 minutes 59 seconds.


Saya Woolfalk, ChimaTEK: Virtual Chimeric Space (detail), 2015.


Saya Woolfalk, ChimaTEK: Virtual Chimeric Space (detail), 2015.


Saya Woolfalk, ChimaTEK: Virtual Chimeric Space (detail), 2015.


Jacolby Satterwhite, En Plein Air: Abduction II, 2014. Chromogenic photograph.


Jacolby Satterwhite, En Plein Air: Abduction II (detail), 2014.


Installation view of “Disguise: Masks and Global African Art”


Left: Walter Oltmann, Razor Helmet I and Razor Helmet II, 2014. Right: Unknown Gola Artist, Helmet Mask (Gbetu) with Raffia Costume, early to mid 20th century.


Adejoke Tugbiyele, Homeless Hungry Homo, 2014. Palm stems, steel, wire, metal, wood, US dollar bills.


Installation view of “Disguise: Masks and Global African Art”


Wura-Natasha Ogunji, Costumes Used in the Video “An Ancestor Takes a Photograph”, 2014. Tyvek, cloth, thread, ink, canvas on polyproylene, safety goggles, gloves, bubble wrap, electrical tape.


Yoruba:  left: Elenu Eiye (“The owner of the mouth that’s in constant celebration”), Egungun Mask and Costume, 2001. Wood, enamel paint, buba (shirt), iro (wrapper of Anakara cloth) and right: Iya wo (Wife and Mother) Egungun Costume, 2000. Cotton and silk cloth, string, beads, amulets of velvet and leather, wood, commercial gardening gloves, metal ornaments.


Brendan Fernandes,: left: Neo-Primitivism II, 2007-2014. Installation with plastic masks, deer decoys, and vinyl and right: From Hiz Hands, 2010. Neon, glass.


Brendan Fernandes, Neo-Primitivism II (detail), 2007-2014.


Unknown We Artist, Mask (Gela), early to mid-20th century. Wood, raffia, cloth, teeth, horn, feathers, hair, fiber cord, cowrie shells, mud, pigment.


Unknown Makonde Artist, Mask with Pelele, ca. 1900-1910. Wood, human hair, iron.