Meschac Gaba was born in 1961 in Cotonou, Benin. He studied at the Rijksakademie voor Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam in 1996-7, and currently lives in Rotterdam. It was at the Rijksmuseum, Leiden, in 1997 that Gaba inaugurated his major work, the Museum of Contemporary African Art, a project in which the artist installed 12 ‘rooms’ of a nomadic museum in various institutions over a period of five years, culminating with his presentation of a ‘Humanist Space’ at Documenta 11. Other ‘rooms’ include the Museum Restaurant (shown at W139, Amsterdam, in 1999), the Games Room (shown in Besançon, France, in 1999 and in Brussels and Gent in 2000), the Library of the Museum (Witte de With, 2001, and published in book form, also 2001), and the Salon (Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2002). Gaba’s survey exhibition Museum for Contemporary African Art & More showed at the Museum de Paviljoens in Almere, the Netherlands; the Kunsthalle Fridericianum in Kassel, Germany; and the Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno in Las Palmas, Canary Islands, in 2009/10. His Tresses series has showed at inIVA in London (2006) and the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2005). Other solo shows include Glue Me Peace at the Nobel Peace Center, Oslo (2006), and Tate Modern, London (2005). Group shows include The Global Contemporary: Art Worlds after 1989 at ZKM Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Germany (2011); Touched, the 2010 Liverpool Biennial; Gaba’s curatorial project Glück – Welches Glück, at the Deutsches Hygiene-Museum in Dresden, Germany (2008); Port City at Greenland Street Gallery, Liverpool (2008); Africa Remix (2004-2007) and, in 2006, the São Paolo, Gwangju, Sydney and Havana biennales.
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