African art museum opens within Tate Modern


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The Independent Culture

A museum within a museum has opened in Tate Modern as part of the gallery's expansion into African art.

Benin artist Meschac Gaba's work, Museum of Contemporary Art takes up 12 rooms in the south London gallery and includes a games room complete with a giant chess set and regular visits from a tarot reader as well as its own shop, restaurant and reading room.

The artist, who splits his time between Africa and The Netherlands, said he came up with idea because "I needed a space for my work, because this did not exist".

The exhibition shop is in the style of a West African market, while its library has more than 1,000 books and reading tables made of truck tyres.

It also houses a coffin complete with a recording of the story of the artist's life as if it were being delivered by his dead father and recreates his wedding day with photographs, the marriage certificate and presents.

The museum, which has now been bought by the Tate, has previously been on show around the world including the USA, Brazil and France.

It runs at the gallery from Wednesday until September 22.

The gallery is also showing the UK's first major exhibition of work by Sudanese artist Ibrahim El-Salahi over the same period.