MUSEC – Museo delle Culture, Villa Malpensata
The exhibition, the second appointment of MUSEC's Global Aesthetics project, presents some of the most recent series by Filipe Branquinho (Maputo, 1977), a Mozambican artist and one of the most authoritative, lucid and desecrating voices in African art.
The MUSEC exhibition, curated by Kristian Khachatourian and Lidija Kostic Khachatourian, presents around 30 large-scale works (mixed media on cotton paper and photographs) created between 2019 and 2022, in which Branquinho investigates social themes, popular customs, mythologies and urban dynamics of his country. His works, which combine tradition and contemporaneity, are shot through with a touch of humour and a keen sense for satire, as a strategy to bring to light the intertwined values and contradictions of Mozambique and common to other African countries. With his art, Branquinho aims to create a space in which social criticism, never an end in itself, contributes to the debate to improve the quality of life and the future of an entire community.
Branquinho's figurative universe often includes the traditional Mapiko masks of the Makonde, an ethnic group widespread in northern Mozambique. The artist uses the masks as caricatures to narrate real facts and people, as they were also sometimes used in the Makonde's secret ritual dances. The title of the exhibition, Lipiko, refers precisely to the name of the dancer who wears the Makiko mask and embodies its disturbing spirit.
Filipe Branquinho was born in Maputo, the capital of Mozambique, in 1977 and now lives between Maputo, San José (Costa Rica) and Madrid. He grew up during the civil war in Mozambique, which lasted from 1976 to 1992, in an environment strongly linked to the world of journalism and the arts. He approached the visual arts through contacts with some important Mozambican photographers, such as Ricardo Rangel, Kok Nam and José Cabral. He studied architecture first in Mozambique and then in Brazil, where he began a process of self-taught exploration of photography and art that led him to become one of Mozambique's most respected artists. He has presented his works in solo and group exhibitions in Mozambique, Mali, the United Arab Emirates, Italy, France, England and Switzerland. The MUSEC exhibition is his first solo show in Switzerland.
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