Friday, November 16, 2018

Bodys Isek Kingelez: City Dreams

I was in a state of awe as I walked into Bodys Isek

Kingelez’s “City Dreams” exhibition. I felt drawn to the bright

colors and immaculate details. Many small scale models of imagined cities

made mostly of trash or packaging materials, sprawl

out in front of the viewer. One must peer down at many works

of art, each roughly the size of two queen mattresses now on view

at the MOMA. These intricate, imagined realities first spark

connection to the whimsical and colorful architecture of Dr. Seuss'

illustrations but then turn slightly more

practical and tacky, in the realm of Las Vegas. Kingelez’s

works, which were crafted in the 90's, were then transformed

by other artists into a virtual reality medium shown in a related project,

 which expands the experience much further.

The works pose a stark contrast between the existing Congolese

 architecture, and what is imagined. They also introduce a modern-

looking craft from a Congolese artist, when many viewers have a

preconception that art coming from this region is “tribal

African art”. Even if the viewer missed the video documentary

on the artist making these pieces outdoors with limited resources

on dirt floors, the details, cityscapes, and color are enough to

entertain the viewers eyes.

Kingelez did well with the exposure curated by the MOMA to

open the minds of viewers, break architectural preconceptions in 

central Africa and remind the public to dream outside there small

world and work diligently with whatever materials they may have.

1 comment:

  1. I found this exhibition fascinating also by how the artist combine the idea of imagined cities and practical urban scale into a unity. I like you use Dr. Seuss to analogy his style: "These intricate, imagined realities first spark connections to that of Dr. Seuss but then turn slightly more practical and tacky," which is indeed playful and colorful and most draw me back to the exhibition.
    The three points you have in the second paragraph is unique and insightful. I would like to see you to elaborate at least one of the points and make them logically preciseness.
    maybe also giving one specific example in the further version?