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Beyond Aesthetics: Use, Abuse, and Dissonance in African Art Traditions
by Wole Soyinka

    Publication Date:
    List Price: $25.00
    Format: Hardcover, 144 pages
    Classification: Nonfiction
    ISBN13: 9780300247626
    Imprint: Yale University Press
    Publisher: Yale University Press
    Parent Company: Yale University
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    Book Description:
    An intimate reflection on culture and tradition, creativity and power, that draws on a lifetime’s commitment to aesthetic encounter

    The playwright, poet, essayist, novelist, and Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka is also a longtime art collector. This book of essays offers a glimpse into the motivations of the collector, as well as a highly personal look at the politics of aesthetics and collecting. Detailing moments of first encounter with objects that drew him in and continue to affect him, Soyinka describes a world of mortals, muses, and deities that imbue the artworks with history and meaning.

    Beyond Aesthetics is a passionate discussion of the role of identity, tradition, and originality in making, collecting, and exhibiting African art today. Soyinka considers objects that have stirred controversy, and he decries dogmatic efforts—whether colonial or religious—to suppress Africa’s artistic traditions. By turns poetic, provocative, and humorous, Soyinka affirms the power of collecting to reclaim tradition. He urges African artists, filmmakers, collectors, and curators to engage with their aesthetic and cultural histories.

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