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(Born in 1961, Cotonou, Benin. Lives and works in Rotterdam/Cotonou.)
Conceptual artist Meschac Gaba explores themes of globalization, consumerism, and the Western museum through acts of artistic appropriation. In more recent work, Gaba has created objects and sculptures from braided hair extensions that are popular with African-Americans and the diaspora. The extensions, which originated in West Africa, form models of the World Financial Center, the Guggenheim—rendered all in black—and other buildings, and vehicles from the United States and Benin.
Gaba first emerged on the international art scene with his 12-part project The Museum of Contemporary African Art (1997–2002), which concluded at Documenta XI. Gaba presented major works at the Dutch Pavilion during the 50th Venice Biennial in 2003 and at the 2010 Liverpool Biennial. Other exhibitions include the site-specific work Citoyen du Monde at the Socrates Sculpture Park Broadway Billboard on Long Island City, New York (2014) and Meschac Gaba: The Museum of Contemporary African Art, at the Deutsche Bank KunstHalle in Berlin, Germany (2014). He is currently part of the Global (e) Resistance exhibition running from July 2020 to January 2021 at the Centre de Pompidou, Paris.
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