The Mental Museum

Pieter Hugo vs. Renzo Martens

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Hollywood, Bollywood and now Nollywood. Nigerian woodstock? Or should I say blackstock? Pieter Hugo is from Johannesburg, South Africa and became enamoured with performers from the streets of Nigeria. A nomadic relationship between beast and man is a perfect metaphor for Africa nation. The outcome of the United State’s civil war was the precursor to the much later 1966 formation of The Black Pathner Party, an African-American self defense organization existing, in more recent years, primarily in southern US states. Initially formed in Oakland, California, near San Fransisco, its main goal was an attempt to bring deserved justice to the black community after years of soiled histories of repression between the Afro society and the Whities, (also existing in South America and extending in earlier histories to Spain.) As the Vietnam war approached, counterculters in the US were being formed. Some Americans moved out of the country to escape the draft while others plundged head first into the line of duty. The hippy movement, 1969 Woodstock is probably the best known wave of counterculture thought. The Black Panther was another. Its ideas stemmed from socialist Marxisms and communist Maoisms in attempts to alleviate poverty and promote education within and defend itself against heavy lingering racisms. However, during the late 60s and 70s, the Black Panthers began to accept more advocates outside of the black community, merging with the hippy movement. Nonetheless, titles have evolved to photographs and culture is being preserved. Hollywood we know and love of course. Bollywood is up and coming to mainstream society with its Slumdog Millionare and now we have Nollywood. Africa beast is in the air. Photographer Pieter Hugo has infiltrated this Nigerian stage and captures the power of a relationship between actual beast and man. However, not a black panther, a hyenna. Another beast in this case, and perhaps an equal mix of feline and canine at that. Beautiful and telling and captured on paper to be preserved forever. With another plane ticket, we have Dutch artist Renzo Martens making Gonzo documentaries titled Enjoy Poverty. Of the two, which speaks louder, for longer?


Written by thementalmuseum

April 16, 2009 at 1:27 am

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