Meschac Gaba’s expansive practice examines architectural structures, systems of trade and perceptions of African identity and art. Through large-scale installations, processional performances and interactive artworks that integrate everyday objects, Gaba asks viewers to consider conventions of representation and the ongoing politics of display.
Solo exhibitions and performances of Gaba’s work include Perruques, Musée national de l’histoire de l’immigration, Paris (2015); Museum of Contemporary African Art 1997–2002, Tate Modern, London (2013); Musée de l’Art de la Vie Active, ZKM Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Germany (2011); Museum of Contemporary African Art and More, Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain (2010); Musée de l’Art de la Vie Active, Financial Bank and street performance, Cotonou, Benin (2010) and Défilé de perruques, street performance, Paris (2006). His work has also been shown in group exhibitions such as Dak’Art: African Contemporary Art Biennale, Dakar (2018); Making Africa: A Continent of Contemporary Design, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, US (2017); La Triennale di Milano (2017); Making Africa: A Continent of Contemporary Design, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (2015); How Far How Near—The World in the Stedelijk, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2014); Liverpool Biennial (2010) and São Paulo Biennial (2006).
In 2002, Gaba was awarded the Will Grohmann Prize, Akademie der Künste, Berlin. He has also taken part in residencies at the Musée de l’Art de la Vie Active, Cotonou (2014); Centre international d’accueil et d’échanges des Récollets, Paris (2005) and International Studio Program, MoMA PS1, New York (2003–2004).
He received his art education through his work at artist Gratien Zossou’s studio, Cotonou (1981–1985) and his participation in the residency programme at Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam (1996–1997). He was born in 1961 in Cotonou, where he continues to live and work.
Sharjah Biennial 14