Bringing together the work of over 30 artists from Africa, the African Diaspora, the United States, and Europe, this thematic investigation explores our varied and ever-changing conceptions of love. What types of love are culturally and historically specific? Are some kinds of love universal? How is love shaped by media, technology, and capitalism? Developed through a transcontinental conversation between the Menil Collection, the Centre for Contemporary Art in Lagos, and the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, St. Louis, The Progress of Love examines these questions, pointing to the intercultural currents that inform them and in that they, in turn, inform. Romantic love, self-love, friendship, familial affect, and love of one’s country are just some of the iterations considered.
About the Authors
Kristina Van Dyke is an independent scholar of African art and former director of the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, St. Louis. While she was curator of collections and research the Menil Collection, she was the principal author of African Art from The Menil Collection (2008) and contributed to Art and Activism: Projects of John and Dominique de Menil (2010).
Bisi Silva is the director of the Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos. She co-curated J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere: Moments of Beauty (2011), and her writing has appeared in Artforum, Third Text, and other periodicals.
Elias K. Bongmba is a professor of religious studies at Rice University in Houston. He is the author of Facing a Pandemic: The African Church and the Crisis of Aids (2007) and The Dialectics of Transformation in Africa (2006), which won the Frantz Fanon Prize in Caribbean Thought.
Francesca Consagra is senior curator of prints and drawings and European painting at the University of Texas at Austin. Her exhibitions include Dreamscapes (2011) and Urban Alchemy/Gordon Matta-Clark (2009).
Banning Eyre is senior editor at afropop.org and a contributor to National Public Radio. His books include In Griot Time: An American Guitarist in Mali (2000).