OBJECTS IN ACTION: Dynamism and Multisensory Experience in Contemporary West African Masquerade
April 2 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Based on over a decade of research in Southwestern Burkina Faso, West Africa, this talk will offer an overview of contemporary masquerade arts and practices, addressing the question, “What is masquerade?” While we might be accustomed to viewing and understanding African masks as wood headpieces displayed on walls in museums and private collections, Dr. Lisa Homann demonstrates that masks are more than objects of contemplation. Rather, mask headpieces are just one element of masquerade, which is a dynamic and multisensory experience. Her presentation will include photographs, videos, and eyewitness accounts of recent mask performances.
Dr. Lisa Homann is Assistant Professor of Art History at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte specializing in West African masquerade practices from the late 19th century to the present. Based in part on field research conducted in Burkina Faso since 2006, she has published on masquerade performance, artistic innovation, and Muslim identities. She serves on the editorial board of the journal African Arts and is currently authoring her first book, titled Visibly Muslim: White Mask Performance in Southwestern Burkina Faso.
A reception at the Museum will follow the lecture.