Meschac Gaba at Afrika 010. Rotterdam buildings, African headdress

Dutch harbour city Rotterdam's Central Station, Market Hall, World Port Center and Maas Tower, braided into wigs and worn on African heads. These are the new ‘perruques architectures’ (wig architectures) by Beninese artist Meschac Gaba. A series of thirteen such wigs is part of the recently opened Afrika 010 exhibition in the ‘Wereldmuseum’  (World Museum) in Rotterdam.

Gaba's work has previously been inspired by iconic architecture from  New York City (skyscrapers), and has been exhibited in the Harlem-based Studio Museum  as well as in London, Paris and Cape Town.

Gaba's work is produced by tresseuses in Cotonou, the capital of his home country. It's a fine addition to the exhibition's overview of artefacts from the Wereldmuseum's special Africa collection. Only a couple of years ago, the former director of the museum intended to do away with these pieces and put them on sale. Call Afrika010 the new masters of the museum's sweet revenge!

Gaba (1961, Cotonou) started his career at the Rijksacademie in Amsterdam in 1996 and 1997 where he created the Draft Room, the first of twelve huge installations of his project, 'The Museum of Contemporary African Art,' that is now part of the Tate Gallery collection.

Afrika 010 will go on until January 8, 2017. The Kunstenhal, Museum Boymans van Beuningen, Winti Bal Masqué and Belvedère - het Verhalenhuis will join in with events and exhibitions later this year.

ZAM is a partner in Afrika 010.