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Embodying Relation By Allison Moore

Embodying Relation by Allison Moore

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Allison Moore examines the tensions between the local and the global in the art photography movement that blossomed in Bamako, Mali, in the 1990s, showing contemporary Malian photography to be a rich example of Western notions of art meeting traditional cultural precepts to forge new artistic forms, practices, and communities.

Embodying Relation Summary

Embodying Relation: Art Photography in Mali by Allison Moore

In Embodying Relation Allison Moore examines the tensions between the local and the global in the art photography movement in Bamako, Mali, which blossomed in the 1990s after Malian photographers Seydou Keita and Malick Sidibe became internationally famous and the Bamako Photography Biennale was founded. Moore traces the trajectory of Malian photography from the 1880s-when photography first arrived as an apparatus of French colonialism-to the first African studio practitioners of the 1930s and the establishment in 1994 of the Bamako Biennale, Africa's most important continent-wide photographic exhibition. In her detailed discussion of Bamakois artistic aesthetics and institutions, Moore examines the post-fame careers of Keita and Sidibe, the biennale's structure, the rise of women photographers, cultural preservation through photography, and how Mali's shift to democracy in the early 1990s enabled Bamako's art scene to flourish. Moore shows how Malian photographers' focus on cultural exchange, affective connections with different publics, and merging of traditional cultural precepts with modern notions of art embody Caribbean philosopher and poet Edouard Glissant's notion of relation in ways that spark new artistic forms, practices, and communities.

Embodying Relation Reviews

Allison Moore's Embodying Relation examines the history of the Bamako art photography movement through its institutions and its aesthetics and the profound effect of transnational encounters on the agency of art photographers in Mali. She provides art historians with a comprehensive analysis of the most important site of photography discourse in Africa, thus bridging the disciplinary boundaries that usually narrate African cultural production outside the pale of art history. Research in photography in Africa provides a great platform for linking African art history to global art history by locating both in a coeval contemporaneity. As such, the importance of Moore's orientation for art history cannot be overemphasized. -- Sylvester Okwunodu Ogbechie, author of * Making History: African Collectors and the Canon of African Art *

About Allison Moore

Allison Moore has a PhD in Art History from the Graduate Center, City University of New York, and has published in numerous journals and exhibition catalogs.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Introduction: A Poetics of Relation 1
1. Unknown Photographer (Bamako, Mali) 27
2. Malian Portraiture Glamorized and Globalized 62
3. Biennale Effects: The African Photography Encounters 98
4. Bamako Becoming Photographic: An Archipelagic Art World 145
5. Creolizing the Archive: Photographers at the National Museum 171
6. Promoting Women Photographers 210
7. Errantry, the Social Body, and Photography as the Echo-monde 249
Conclusion 276
Notes 281
Bibliography 325

Additional information

Embodying Relation: Art Photography in Mali by Allison Moore
Duke University Press
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