||Produced by Ilisa Barbash and Lucien Taylor. 1992.
This extraordinary documentary is one of the most intelligent, perceptive, and engaging films ever made on African culture and art. It explores with irony and humor issues of authenticity, taste, and racial politics in the transnational trade in African art.
Interweaving stories of Western collectors, Muslim traders, African artists and intellectuals, and the filmmakers themselves, the film focuses on a remarkable art dealer from Niger named Gabai Barre. It follows him all the way from the rural Ivory Coast to East Hampton, Long Island, where he bargains for a sale. The film shows how (through occasionally hilarious and frequently fantastic tales about the art objects) he adds economic value and changes the "meaning" of what he sells by interpreting and mediating between the cultural values of African producers and Western consumers.
1 videocassette (59 min.) : sd., color ; 1/2 in
by Ilisa Barbash and Lucien Taylor
Nigeria. Issues of fakery, taste, and racial politics in the transnational trade in African art, known as "wood"