António Ole’s "township wall" from the Ethnologisches Museum Collection Has Been Installed at the Humboldt Forum

25.01.2021
Ethnologisches Museum

The arrangement of the exhibitions from the Ethnologisches Museum (Ethnological Museum) and the Museum für Asiatische Kunst (Museum of Asian Art) at the Humboldt Forum has been in full swing since early January. One of the first of these works is Angolan artist António Ole’s installation township wall, which is part of the Ethnologisches Museum collection.

By integrating works of contemporary art from Africa and other parts of the world into the presentation of its collection, the museum underscores its commitment to present non-European cultures in both their historical and contemporary manifestations and to rethink the concept of “ethnological”.

An Artwork with Two Titles

In his seminal work, Ole distils the experience of violence during decades of civil war and the resulting living conditions in Angola. The artist compares his work on township wall to an act of exorcism, in the course of which he freed himself from these experiences by transforming them into a work of art and simultaneously making them the object of a communicative process.

While the English title of the work suggests a political interpretation, the Portuguese name Margem da Zona Limite (literally: Border to the Forbidden Zone) proposes a broader field of association – extending to the “forbidden zone” in Andrei Tarkowski’s film Stalker.

The Artist António Ole

António Ole is one of the most significant artists from the African continent. His work, shown at many international exhibitions, covers a wide spectrum including painting, sculpture, installation, photography and film.