Hartmut Brie. An African Art collection… Field collected.
By Hartmut Brie, African Art Club Member since Saturday January 17, 2008
It goes without saying that those collectors having stayed for years in Black Africa, have a completely different approach to African Art and its embedment in the socio-cultural context from those of African art dealers.
Penetrating the sacred wood in Ouidah,conversing with the “chef supérieur du Voudou Hounon” and accompanying him to his ceremonies allows you to have an insight into a world of magic power which statues, masks and fetishes derive their reason of being from.
Filming Alapini family`s rare procession(Engun-Gu)of family members crossing the border from Nigeria(Oyo) where the origin of the family is supposed to be, and sharing the meal with them conveys a familiarization and intimacy with socio-religious cults.
Eventually having the Kuba King as guest in your house in Kinshasa with members of his court, is an event that enables you to get information from the very source.
Last not least going with students to their home villages in the bush to live everyday life and talk to healers, ”féticheurs” and the council of elders and their sculptors of religious objects makes you feel at ease in Africa and leads you to wondering why dealers and curators present their African treasures in a eurocentric way not taking into account the fibres, gestures ,costumes, sounds and sacrificing being inherent to African Art.
During my 11 years´ stay in Africa as Lecturer and Literacy Campaign Expert I collected some objects and met over there African Art experts such as Frère Cornet in Kinshasa…
My websites may convey a first impression of my collection preferences: