EAGLE AFRICA (ADLER AFRIKA)

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EAGLE AFRICA

EAGLE AFRICA is an exhibition project of German/ Ghanaian artist Philip Metz which examines the colonial history of Germany in Ghana through photography, video, and installation.

In 1683 the Fort 'Gross-Friedrichsburg' was founded at the Cape Three Points.  It served as a fortress, storage of goods, and slave prison.

Prior to the founding of Gross-Friedrichsburg, Prussian Elector Frederick William of Brandenburg sent two ships to the African coast to sign contracts between three Ahanta leaders and the Prussian trade missions, in order to allow direct trade. This was the first of Germany's colonial ambitions on the African continent.

“..This 17th Century history is quite unknown in Germany. In September 2011, I traveled to Ghana to research forts of the former colonial powers. The artistic result of this research was a series of photographs showing several former forts and their present use. On this trip, I discovered “Gross-Friedrichsburg.” Puzzled by this German name, I began my investigation...” (Philip Metz).

EAGLE AFRICA describes a process that begins to scratch below the surface and the known historiography to dig deeper, locate other facts, stories and ideas, and make them visible. The artistic interpretation allows for a questioning of position and change of perspective in regards to the story.  Both German and Ghanaian historians will accompany this project. Alongside the scientific expectations is an art project, which relates closely to socio-political and historical issues.

The French philosopher Paul Ricoeur introduced the concept of self-seeking, which deems as necessary the problems to be solved that history presents to us. The term is the “need for an opening to another subject, also to make the historical, visible". (Ursula Meier I. 1991, 209)

The artist sometimes provides us with a humorous look at popular cultural practices, and how they are affected these are by clichés. For example, the video BushWalden" ironically reflects how and by which ideas and images of cultural exchange, the encounter with the other" can be characterized. -Personally I think it would be better to name the artist... open with "Metz sometimes..." and include the year of the video BushWalden... just a suggestion.

, (...)Knowledge creates knowledge , as knowledge begins; knowledge creates knowledge , who determines the knowledge, ( ... ) "

( Khabo Köpsell , Philip. The Case Jim Knopf. excerpt from The Brainage Unrest -Verlag Münster, 2010.)

The project, an intensive study of Ghanaian/ German history, will also create a fruitful dialogue about the presence of the boundaries in artistic media.

The Brandenburg African Company (BAC) was a enterprise whose purpose was trade with South Africa.  The BAC participated in trade between Europe, Africa and America. The company existed from 1682 until its dissolution in 1711 by the Prussian King Friedrich I.  It is considered the first German stock coorporation.

The Eagle Africa share, by which the project EAGLE AFRICA is partially financed, refers to this fact.

The creation of this body of work is funded by The Goethe-Institute of Accra, Ghana. The project was presented in Accra for the first time in September 2014. Further exhibitions are also planned throughout Germany.