“The canvases feature scenes known to us from ethnographic records and pop culture, but the artist tries to deconstruct their violent depiction, through references to the history of painting, symbolic use of colors and painterly gestures, trying to show us these stories in a different light.

The title of the exhibition „Mad masters” was taken from the documentary film by Jean Rouch from 1955 (originally: „Les Maîtres Fous”). It shows the hauka ceremony, during which the participants of the trance ritual play and mimic the colonizers. At the time of its premiere, the film was heavily criticized by both European anthropologists and African intellectuals and students, showing the existing tensions that have not yet been resolved. For a long time, due to alleged racism, colonialism and anti-Britishness in interpretations, the document was censored in Ghana itself, but also in Great Britain. It was only years later that it was recognized as a pioneering image for an ethno-documentary.”

Barbara Głyda
Excerpt from the text accompanying the exhibition Mad Masters

Mad Masters

09.06 – 21.08.2021
curator: Barbara Głyda
Contemporary Art Gallery 12
Cieszyn , Poland