Salle de Jeux du Musée d’Art Contemporain Africain

Gaba salledejeux3

The exhibition of the African artist Meschac Gaba’s gaming tables opens at the same time as the Thierry De Cordier exhibition. This work is his Salle de jeux du Musée d’Art Contemporain Africain.

The gaming room comprises three individual works. In ‘Jeu d’échec’, a chessboard is marked out in chalk and charcoal on the floor. The pieces playing against each other represent the dollar team and the euro team. Then there is ‘Roulette’, where the spectator-gambler, by making a bet, can win a ring or pendant designed by the artist. The six ‘Table Puzzles’ are gaming tables with tops like a square slide-puzzle, in which the player can try to reconstruct six African flags. This work forms part of a wider ‘Idea for an African museum of contemporary art’, about which Meschac Gaba himself has this to say: ‘To me this museum is a way of showing how African art should be approached. It is a way of expressing the fact that Africa has become a multicultural continent and that people here should take account of this. Tradition is not rejected there, but is known, respected and accepted. Other ways of life that cannot be ignored have penetrated our original culture. For that reason it is not necessary to put up a building for this project, but to make rooms available in which my work can be shown and continued. The Museum of Contemporary African Art is a way of expression, an accessible space for my work, and a language expressed by objects and performances. The project consists of twelve rooms and will end in 2000. If it succeeds African art will be regarded as equal to other art forms.’

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