Meschac Gaba 1961

Lives in Benin. Works in Benin.
Represented by:

Lumen Travo Galerie

Benin artist Meschac Gaba pinpoints manufactured cultural hybridization, as one of the signs of capitalism run macroeconomics. Therefore, Gaba’s artworks correlate cultural forms to economics’ standard exchange items, i.e. money, industry – manufacture, trade, labour work; manifesting with irony and charm these trade-offs (between exchange of goods and human values) through the notions of cultural alteration, creolization of cultures. Behind though, his works express a sensitive support for human life, richness and local creation.

Artworks
Media
Highlights
Recommendations
Collections
Shows
Market position
CV

Media

Tate Shots: Every month, a different artist is featured. Meshac Gaba launches the series, with a tour around the streets of his home town of Cotonou, Benin, which he considers his working space and inspiration.
Tate Shots: Every month, a different artist is featured. Meshac Gaba launches the series, with a tour around the streets of his home town of Cotonou, Benin, which he considers his working space and inspiration.
Meschac Gaba: Museum of Contemporary African Art @ Deutsche Bank KunstHalle Sep 20 - Nov 16, 2014
Tate Shots: Meschac Gaba's 'Museum of Contemporary African Art' is an immersive twelve-room installation, a 'museum within a museum', which was sprawling through Tate Modern.

Market position

Meschac Gaba’s large scale project called Museum of Contemporary African Art, which is currently presented at the Kunsthalle of Kassel, is the most representative and achieved vision of the artist in this matter (see the book Library of the Museum vol. 1, published by Artimo Foundation, 2001). It was at the Rijksmuseum, Leiden, in 1997 that Gaba inaugurated his major work, the Museum of Contemporary African Art, a project in which the artist installed 12 'rooms' of a nomadic museum in various institutions over a period of five years, culminating with his presentation of a 'Humanist Space' at Documenta 11. Other 'rooms' include the Museum Restaurant (shown at W139, Amsterdam, in 1999), the Games Room (shown in Besançon, France, in 1999 and in Brussels and Gent in 2000), the Library of the Museum (Witte de With, 2001, and published in 2001), and the Salon (Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2002). The Museum of Contemporary African Art (1997-2002) was acquired by Tate and exhibited at Tate Modern, London, in 2013. The Library of the Museum was donated by Gaba to the city of Cotonou as part of his project Musée de l'Art de la Vie Active (MAVA). Gaba's survey exhibition Museum for Contemporary African Art & More showed at the Museum de Paviljoens in Almere, the Netherlands; the Kunsthalle Fridericianum in Kassel, Germany; and the Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno in Las Palmas, Canary Islands, in 2009/10. Notable group shows include African Metropolis. An Imaginary City at MAXXI, Rome (2018); Enchanted Bodies / Fetish for Freedom at Galleria d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Bergamo (2018); The Red Hour, 13th Dakar Biennale (2018); More for Less at A4 Arts Foundation, Cape Town (2018); Their Own Harlems at The Studio Museum in Harlem (2017); Afrique Capitales at La Villette in Paris (2017); Making Africa: A Continent of Contemporary Design at the Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein (2015); Atopolis, Mons 2015 - European Capital of Culture; Liberated Subjects: Present Tense, Foundation De 11 Lijnen, Oudenburg (2015); The Theatre of the World, Museo Tamayo, Mexico (2014); When Attitudes Became Form Become Attitudes: A Restoration / A Remake / A Rejuvenation / A Rebellion, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco; Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit (2013); Benin Biennale (2012); La Triennale - Intense Proximity, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2012); The Global Contemporary: Art Worlds after 1989 at ZKM Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Germany (2011); Touched, the 2010 Liverpool Biennale; Port City at Greenland Street Gallery, Liverpool (2008); Africa Remix (2004-2007) and, in 2006, the São Paolo, Gwangju, Sydney and Havana biennales.

CV

Selected Solo Shows: 2010 Museum of contemporary African art & more, Centro Atlantico de Arto Modero- CAAM- Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain 2009 The Street, Michael Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town South Africa Sweetness, Ullens centre for contemporary Art, Beijing, China Museum of Contemporary African Art, De Paviljoens, Almere, Netherlands Museum of Contemporary African Art, Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel, Germany 2008 Gluck, artistic display-scenography for the Deutsches Hygiene Museum, Dresden, Germany Trace, Lumen Travo gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands 2007 Tresses and other recent projects, Johannesburg Art Gallery, South Africa Tresses, Michael Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa 2006 Tresses, inIVA, London, (street) performance, United-Kingdom Défilé de perruques, City of Paris, (street) performance, France Glue Me Peace, Nobel Peace Center, Oslo, Norway 2005 Library of the Museum, BiblioNova, Geleen, Netherlands Glue Me Peace, Tate Modern, London, United-Kingdom Le Pain Migrateur, Artra Gallery, Milano, Italy Meschac Gaba: Tresse, The Studio Museum, Harlem, New York, NY, USA Peace Maker, Lumen Travo Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands 2004 Peace Maker, Ernest G. Welch School of Arts & Design, Gallery of the Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia 2003 Atlantique, Lumen Travo Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands 2002 Library of the Museum - Museum of Contemporary African Art, Falaki Gallery, American Univerisity of Cairo, Egypt Museum Shop for Sale and Museum Living Room for Sale - Museum of Contemporary African Art, Artra Gallery, Milan and Geneva, Italy Le Discothèque du Musée - Museum of Contemporary African Art, SBK Tramremise (Stichting Beeldende Kunst), Amsterdam, The Netherlands Le Salon du Musée - Museum of Contemporary African Art, Palais de Tokyo, Paris France 2001 Marriage Room - Museum of Contemporary African Art, INOVA, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA Library of the Museum - Museum of Contemporary African Art Witte de With, Rotterdam, The Netherlands Der Inforaum /The Info-room, Kunsthalle Bern, witzerland 2000 Meschac Gaba: Salle de Jeux- Museum of Contemporary African Art, S.M.A.K. Ghent, Belgium Game Room - Museum of Contemporary African Art Crown Gallery, Brussels, Belgium Spielregeln/ Rules of the Game, Galerie Gebauer, Berlin, Germany 1999 Summer Collection - Museum of Contemporary African Art, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands Salle de Jeux - Museum of Contemporary African Art, Le Pavé Dans La Mare, Besançon, France Museum Restaurant - Museum of Contemporary African Art, W139, Amsterdam, The Netherlands Vente en gros et detaille, Lumen Travo Gallery, Amsterdam, Netherlands 1998 Missing Links: Draft Room - Museum of Contemporary African Art, Praterinsel, Munich, Germany Museum of Contemporary African Art, De Nederlandsche Bank, Amsterdam, The Netherlands Architecture of the Museum - Museum of Contemporary African Art, Gate Foundation, Amsterdam, The Netherlands Meschac Gaba, SBK knsm-eiland, Amsterdam, The Netherlands 1997 Moneta Exotica. Oorspronkelijk geld uit de hele wereld: Draft Room - Museum of Contemporary African Art: Rijksmuseum Het Koninklijk Penningkabinet, Leiden, The Netherlands: in conjunction with the exhibition Bazar Bizar, Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands 1995 Art festival Pour la FrancophoniePalace of the President of Bénin, Cotonou, Benin 1993 Biennale de Dakar, Galerie Ife, Dakar, Senegal 1991 Meschac Gaba, Centre Culturelle Français de Cotonou, Benin Selected group exhibitons 2009 Sweetness, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China Esposizione Universale, Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Bergamo, Italy 2008 Biennale Cuvée, OK Center for Contemporary Art, Linz, Austria Port City, A Foundation, Greenland Street, London, United-Kingdom Sonsbeek 2008, Arhnem, The Netherlands Carried away – Procession in art, Museum of contemporary art in Arhnem, The Netherlands 2007 Africa Remix, Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg South Africa Port City, John Hansard Gallery, Southampton, Arnolfini, Bristol, United- Kingdom Brocken Memory, Ghana National art Museum, Accra Residents, Espace EDF Electra, Paris, France Suitcase Illuminated #5 Parallel Economies, P74 Center and Gallery, Ljubljana 2006 Meschac Gaba/Hermann Pitz: Tresse,Galerie Fernand Leger, Ivry, Paris, France Sweetness and Museum Shop, São Paolo Biennale, How to Live Together, Brazil Fever Variations,6th Gwangju Biennale, South Korea La Maison, Sydney Biennale Contact Zones, Sydney, Australia Qui Veut Cajoux, Je Veux Cajoux, second edition of 'De Kleine Biënnale' (The Little Biennial for children) Fort op de Ruigenhoeksedijk, Utrecht, The Netherlands Boulangerie Africaine, in Africa Remix (traveling exhibition), Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan Tresses, Biennale of Havana, Cuba Global Tour: Tresses, W139, Amsterdam, The Netherlands Respect! Formes de cohabitation : Peace Maker, Musée Dar Si Saïd, Marrakech, Morocco Biennale of Sydney, Australia Biennale de La Habana, Cuba 2005 Ouvertures - on Water: Water Village,City of Munich, Art Circolo Kunstprojekt, Munich, Germany "Trace of a Structure of Ideas: Archaeology of a Utopia in the Hardau", City of Zurich, Switzerland: proposal Embassy, competition project Boulangerie Africaine, Hayward Gallery, London, United-Kingdom Africa Remix: Identità & Nomadismo, Palazzo delle Papesse Centro Arte Contemporanea, Milan, Italy Africa Remix: Boulangerie Africaine, Centre George Pompidou, Paris, France San Francisco, Monuments for the USA: Peace Mountain, Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, USA Dressing Ourselves, Meschac Gaba, La Triennale di Milano, Italy 2004 Horizons: Rules of the Game, Museum of World Cultures, Göteborg, Sweden Economies, Art and Gallery, Milano, Italy Strange Planet: Peace Maker, Ernest G. Welch School of Art & Design Gallery of the Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia USA Contemporary Archeology, The Fiction of Authenticity, Miller Gallery of the Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA Money Bed, Lustwarance 04, City Park project, Fundament Foundation, Netherlands Africa Remix: Boulangerie Africaine, Kunstpalast, Dusseldorf, Germany Visa For Thirteen, International Studio Program exhibition: Peace Maker, PS1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, NY, USA Les Afriques: Poulet Morgue, Le Tri Postal, Lille/Cultural Capital of Europe, France We Are The World/Rotterdam Edition of Dutch Pavillion at Venice Biennale Ginger Bar, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands Open Studios, PS1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, NY, USA 2003 Contemporary Archeology, Fiction of Authenticity, Forum of Contemporary Art, St. Louis, Missouri, USA Water, Water Village, Amsterdamse Duinwaterleidingen, Amsterdam, The Netherlands Democracy Game, Exhibition of Exhibitions, Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York, USA We Are The World: Ginger Bar, Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy: Dutch Pavillion Plasticiens en Mouvement/Kunstenaars in Beweging: Origine du Monde, De Markten, Brussels, Belgium 2002 Artists' Games, Public's Games, Kunstverein Ulm, Germany Library of the Museum, Museum Shop and Humanist Space, Documenta11, Kassel, Germany Geld und Währung / Das letzte Tabu: Museum Shop, EXPO, Switserland 2001 Ensemble : Michel François & Meschac Gaba, Galerie Lumen Travo, Amsterdam, The Netherlands Democracy Game, Helsinki, Finland International Art Fair: Museum Shop, Art /32/ Basel, Switzerland Locus/Focus: Palace of Eternity, Sonsbeek 2001 (9), Arnhem, The Netherlands Geldlust: ModellBanking: Money Tree, Kunsthalle Tirol, Hall in Tirol, Austria Design for National Slavery Monument, Slave Route, City Hall Amsterdam, The Netherlands Réalité Revisitée: Expérimenter le Réel : Atlantique, Cimaise & Portique centre departmental d'art contemporain, Albi, France Mirror's Edge, Museum of Contemporary African Art The Architecture of the Museum, curated by Okwui Enwezor, travelling exhibition:Tramway, Glasgow, Scotland Red Ribbon Art: Money Box, Groninger Museum, Groningen, Netherlands 2000 Mirror's Edge, Architecture of the Museum - Museum of Contemporary African Art, Castello di Rivoli, Turin Italy For Real: Marriage Room - Museum of Contemporary African Art, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands The Sky is the Limit, Meschac Gaba Made in Taiwan, Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, Taiwan: Taipei Biennale L'Art dans le Monde : Pain et Marteaux, Paris Musées/Revue des Beaux Arts, Pont Alexandre III, Paris, France East/International: Museum of Contemporary African Art - Draft Room, Norwich Gallery, Norwich, United-Kingdom Play-use: Game Room, Witte de With, Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam, The Netherlands A Casa Di: Art and Religion Room -Museum of Contemporary African Art, Cittadellarte/Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella, Italy Continental Shift. A voyage between cultures: Le Discothèque du Musée - Museum of Contemporary African Art, Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht, The Netherlands ARCO, Art fair, Dialogues, Museum Shop presented by Lumen Travo Gallery, Spain Worthless (invaluable). The concept of value in contemporary art: Draft Room - Museum of Contemporary African Art, Moderna Galerija, Ljubljana, lovenia NoTitle, Lumen Travo Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands Mirror's Edge, Architecture of the Museum -Museum of Contemporary African Art, Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada Chess Game, part of Game Room - Museum of Contemporary African Art, presented by Galerie Gebauer, Berlin. Kunstmesse, Basel, Switzerland 1999 Mirror's Edge: Architecture of the Museum - Museum of Contemporary African Art, Bildmuseet, Umeå, Sweden South Meets West: Museum Shop - Museum of Contemporary African Art, National Museum of Ghana, Accra Waardige Zaken. Wonderkamers: Summer Collection, De Nieuwe Vide, Haarlem, The Netherlands Casino, Le Pavé Dans La Mare, Besançon, France TroubleSpot.Painting: Draft Room - Museum of Contemporary African Art, NICC and MUHKA, Antwerp, Belgium Trafique: Museum Shop - Museum of Contemporary African Art, S.M.A.K. extra muros, Ghent, Belgium Nationaal Museum Weekend: Architecture of the Museum - Museum of Contemporary African Art, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, TheNetherlands Unlimited.nl-2: Architecture of the Museum - Museum of Contemporary African Art, De Appel Foundation, Amsterdam, The Netherlands 1998 Copy Culture. 40 Jaar Amsterdams Grafisch Atelier, Arti et Amicitiae, Amsterdam, The Netherlands Meeting Point, Lumen Travo Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands NICC, Antwerp, Belgium 1997 Draft Room - Museum of Contemporary African Art, Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam, The Netherlands Blueprint, De Appel Foundation, Amsterdam, The Netherlands Virtual exhibition at africaserver.nl/virtual/exhibitions/gaba 1996 Rasa Foundation, Utrecht, The Netherlands Open Ateliers, Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam, The Netherlands 1995 Ewole, Lome, Togo German Embassy, Cotonou, Benin 1994 on the occasion of the top Africa/America, Libreville, Gabon Biennale d'Abidjan 1994, Abidjan, Ivory Coast Centre Culturelle Chinois, Cotonou, Benin Galerie GO, Cotonou, Benin 1993 Centre Culturelle Americain, Cotonou, Bénin 1992 Arts sur 7. S.O.S. Artistes, Halle des Sports, Cotonou, Benin Musée des Arts d'Afrique et d'Océanie, Paris, France