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L. Pescador, 1995






Persona. Masques d’Afrique: identités cachées et révélées

Museé royal de l’Afrique centrale (MRAC)

Leuvensesteenweg 13, 3080 Tervuren – Belgique (15 km. from Bruxelles)

From April 24th 2009 to January 3rd 2010



The new exhibition at the MRAC Tervuren is dedicated to the theme of identity, how it manifests itself in masks of African populations. The masks used in traditional dances and rituals sometimes have the function to hide the true identity of the masked but sometimes to reveal its true essence, possessed by spirits or invested with a particular role in society, and this review attempts to clarify the complex dynamics that underlie this type of mechanisms.


In display are more than 100 specimens, including a hundred from the inside collection of the museum and the others borrowed from major museums (such as the Musée du quai Branly in Paris, the Museum of Ethnography in Stockholm, the Museum of Rome Pigorini) or Belgian private collections.


The antique pieces are also compared to works by contemporary African artists, almost recreating an invisible dialogue between the past and the present.


The catalogue, published by MRAC and 5 Continents Editions, is edited by Anne-Marie Bouttiaux, curator of the Museum and of the exhibition, and includes a text by Pierre Roger Turine.