Disguise: Masks and Global African Art
While masks are a major art form in many parts of Africa, their use has taken new turns in the twenty-first century. Disguise: Masks and Global African Art explores how themes related to masking and disguise in the past are now transitioning into new platforms around the world. The authors examine the influence of masks residing in the Seattle Art Museum's renowned collection, investigating the longevity of masquerades, and how they offer ways to disrupt and reimagine reality.
In today's global and digital world, artists are engaging with disguise through photography, video, and interactive platforms. Ten contemporary artists interviewed for this catalogue create work that conceals, layers, and reinvents identities. They include Jacolby Satterwhite, who creates extravagantly choreographed videos; Brendan Fernandes, whose performance-based works show how dance embodies disguise; and Zina Saro-Wiwa, a video artist and filmmaker who has examined the status of traditional Ogoni masks in the midst of Nigeria's destructive oil trade. They are joined by numerous others from around the globe who address the intersection of disguise, identity, ritual, and contemporary life.