Vanessa Diaz Rivas

Vanessa Díaz Rivas’ research deals with contemporary art in Mozambique. Artists in Mozambique today largely refuse to be branded as “African” artists and claim to be considered as contemporary artists and not only as African ones. Very often their art has been defined in terms as African or traditional, definitions largely based on categories of othering that go back to the country’s history as a colony. Colonial history and socialist ideologies during the Cold War largely precluded equal partnership of Mozambican artists in the global art market. In order to overcome geographical hierarchies, many Mozambican artists tend to highlight the contemporary character of their work. Vanessa Díaz wonders if this discursive move has the potential to change their actual positions in the global visual arts market.

For the ISOE exhibition, Vanessa Díaz collaborated with Gemuce.


Vanessa Díaz Rivas, M.A., is a research fellow at the Zentrum Moderner Orient in Berlin. She is currently working on her dissertation project on contemporary art in Maputo, Mozambique, at the department of African Art History at the Freie Universität Berlin. She is part of the research project “In Search of Europe: Considering the Possible in Africa and the Middle East,” which is funded by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research. Within this project, she has also been working, since early 2012, on a cooperation with the Mozambican artist Gemuce, which attempts to explore the boundaries between art and science. She studied Cultural Anthropology at the Johannes Gutenberg-University in Mainz, and worked there at the Department of Anthropology and African Studies as a teacher and student adviser from 2009 to 2010.



Auszüge Aus Feld Forschungsinterviews mit Gemuce