The Progress of Love, a joint exhibition in Lagos, Houston, and St. Louis explores African culture through questions of intimacy and cultural performances of love in the African Diaspora. The different exhibitions, at the Center for Contemporary Art – Lagos, The Menil Collection – Houston, and The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts – St. Louis, examine the role of African culture, media, and economics in creating ideas and expectations that mediate the social performance of love in the digital era.  If love is universal, how is it differently manifested across contextual realities? How is love in Africa or among Africans understood and portrayed globally?

“How Do Africans Kiss?” voiced off camera is the first in an series of progressively intimate prompts given to subjects in Eaten By The Heart, a video piece by Zina Saro-Wiwa that views like a casting screen-test. The piece which considers the “mapping of emotional landscapes” and kissing in African culture is part of an exhibition of more than twenty artists to open at the Menil Collection in Houston, TX on 2 Dec 2012.

“I wonder how the impact of how we choreograph and culturally organize the performance of love impacts what we feel inside and who we become.”
-Zina Saro-Wiwa

With exhibitions already open in Lagos and St. Louis, the Menil Collection opening completes an unusual geographic triad. Be sure to check the project site for more information on exhibitions and the exciting set of artists featured in the show.

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