29 May 2017

Hidden Treasures of African Art

I stumbled across this documentary recently. I'm a big fan of traditional African art but it was the mention of Dogon tribe that prompted me to watch it. I'm sure many of you will know them for being singled out in Von Daniken's fun fest but as West African artisans they are second to none. However, Western tastes and a perverse fetish for "used" idols and masks have not only created a black market and thriving counterfeit trade but are also the reasons the Dogon and many tribes like them have been subject to an almost complete freeze of cultural development. Griff Ryhs Jones is at his cheeky best in this BBC piece from 2013. Not only does this put him in good stead to dig like few would dare but he is able to bring striking parallels to not only contemporary art but I believe also low brow and dark art. It's for this reason I'm sharing it here. Please excuse the YouTube host, but BBC I player is no longer hosting this series. Click settings and turn off annotations to be rid of the silly yellow link.

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