The front doors of the Tate Modern

The front doors of the Tate Modern

The Tate Modern is a modern art museum that is placed in a drastically renovated factory building.  Before this experience, I was honestly not a fan of modern art.  Meschac Gaba: Museum of Contemporary African Art has changed my mind.  When I first walked into the exhibit I thought, what in the world is happening?  There was a money tree in a corner (literally a tree with money hanging off of it) and a pile of chicken anatomy plastered in a red plastic mold in another.

After my initial shock, the exhibit seemed to be showing viewers how dependent the world is on money to provide us with material goods that we believe better our lives.  This was represented by the many piles of gold coins or gold painted spots on or near objects and also how the exhibit was divided into rooms, making it a mini museum in itself.  The exhibit allowed guests to interact inside of the art.  For example, there was a very plainly decorated library where people could sit and read the various books that lined the shelves.  Many artists try to portray political or social messages through their art so I think it would’ve been interesting to take the time to see why certain books were put inside the exhibit.   It also would have been cool to find out if they had originally been put in a certain place, since visitors had been grabbing them and putting them back in different places, which could be a commentary on how art is constantly changing, whether the artist means it to or not.

The book room of the Meschac Gaba exhibit.

The book room of the Meschac Gaba exhibit.

There was also a room with building blocks in the middle for guests to play with and another with giant puzzles of flags that didn’t ever come together, which could be a political commentary on how disconnected countries are.  Personally, my favorite part was the music room, where guests were invited to sit at the piano and play music, making a calm, homey atmosphere.  There was also a tarot card reader near by, clarifying the sense of surrealism and magic that is the Meschac Gaba: Museum of Contemporary African Art exhibit.

–Sami Schwanke

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Samantha Schwanke

Samantha graduated with a BA in English and a Mass Communications minor in 2014. She is originally from Owatonna, MN and her hobbies include hanging out with family and friends, playing musical instruments (flute, piccolo, piano and accordion), watching movies, shaving her dog stitching kitchen towels….you know, the normal stuff. ​