Thursday, December 3, 2015

Art and Food Pairing™: Chefs-d'Oeuvre d'Afrique and Café Dapper Loïc Dablé - Part 1

For this Art and Food Pairing™, there's no need to leave the art venue to find the restaurant. Both are conveniently located in the same building!

The Musée Dapper's current exhibition, Chefs-d'Oeuvre d'Afrique (Masterpieces from Africa), is not to be missed. Though I don't pretend to have seen much in terms of African art and artifacts outside of Paris, I have to say that I was thoroughly impressed with what I saw there!

According to documentation provided by the museum, some of the most important works in the world have been brought together here for the first time. These pieces of outstanding form and beauty are representative of the great cultures of Africa.

Chefs d'oeuvre d'Afrique
Ground floor exhibition room
© Discover Paris!

The exhibition is divided into two parts: Central Africa and West Africa. It consists of masks, statues / statuettes, headdresses, weapons, and personal items such as jewelry that were used for purposes as varied as honoring ancestors, initiating adolescents into adulthood, and assuring fertility for women. The pieces on display were selected because of their visual appeal as well as for the roles that they served in the societies that created them.

Happily, the museum allows photos (without flash) to be taken during this exhibition. So I'm pleased to share images of some of the works that I found to be most stunning.

Collage - AKAN tête (head)
17th century Terra Cotta
Ghana - Hemang (Twifo) region
© Discover Paris!

BAMANA / MARKA masque ntomo (ntomo mask)
Wood, caury shells, vegetable fibers, metal, and pigments
Mali - San, Siânro, or Soro region
© Discover Paris!

KOTA/MAHONGWE figure de reliquaire (reliquary figure)
Wood, copper, and brass
© Discover Paris!

LUBA Ceremonial Ax
Wood, iron, copper, and pigments
Democratic Republic of Congo
© Discover Paris!

FON Statue representing le Roi Glèlè (King Glèlè)
Ancient Kingdom of Dahomey (Benin)
© Discover Paris!

Short films also contribute to this exhibition. In the anteroom on the ground floor, a video called Afrique Plurielle is shown on three walls. It unites vintage images, photos, and film clips to examine ancient and contemporary rituals around hair; skin painting, scarification and tattooing; and death.

Scene from Afrique Plurielle
© Discover Paris!

Scene from Afrique Plurielle
© Discover Paris!

Scene from Afrique Plurielle
© Discover Paris!

In the back corner of the upper floor of the exhibition, a second video shows a young man walking across parched earth and then shows scenes of his mother performing a ritual through which she calls upon the gods to bring rain to the land and to protect her son.

After viewing the exquisite works on display, take the stairs to the lower level of the museum to enjoy a fabulous meal of African fusion cuisine by Chef Loïc Dablé.

I'll present my review of this restaurant experience in Part 2 of "Art and Food Pairing™: Chefs-d'Oeuvre d'Afrique and Café Dapper Loïc Dablé."


Entrée to Black Paris!™ is a Discover Paris! blog.

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