Step into a world where art defies convention and sustainability takes center stage at the Museum of Science and Technology in Accra. “Beautiful Nonsense,” an ongoing exhibition inspired by Ernest Temple Thurston’s 1909 best-selling novel, “The City of Beautiful Nonsense,” is a unique and thought-provoking experience that will run until November 30, 2023.
Venue: Museum of Science and Technology, Accra
Discovering Cape Coast’s ‘Beautiful Nonsense’
In a curious twist of fate, the title “The City of Beautiful Nonsense” has become synonymous with Cape Coast, Ghana’s first capital. This city is steeped in rich historical and cultural heritage, often lovingly referred to as “the town of beautiful nonsense.” Thurston’s novel critically dissects the shallowness and pretensions of the artistic and cultural world, shedding light on the stark contrast between appearances and substance.
A Captivating Journey into Paradoxes
“Beautiful Nonsense” unabashedly leans on Thurston’s literary work, curating a captivating journey into the realm of paradoxes and playful contradictions. Through a carefully selected array of artworks, this exhibition uncovers the intrinsic beauty concealed within seemingly nonsensical mediums, often composed of discarded materials and employing astonishing techniques. It challenges conventional notions of coherence and purpose, inspiring viewers to explore the aesthetics of ambiguity and the allure of the inexplicable.
Art Beyond Boundaries
This collection transcends the boundaries of traditional artistic expression, inviting viewers to embrace the harmony of chaos and the eloquence of absurdity. “Beautiful Nonsense” stands as a testament to the idea that creativity knows no bounds; each artwork is an ode to the unbridled power of imagination.
Repurposing Waste into Art: Akan Wisdom
As the popular Akan saying goes, “dua kontonkyikuronkyi na ema yehunu odwomfo pa,” meaning “crooked wood reveals who a good carver is.” Many of the exhibited artists have masterfully explored the use of trash as a medium. From matchsticks, trash cans, toothpicks, and plastic straws to ghost nets, burnt papers, wire mesh, and plastic bottle tops, these artists exemplify the proverbial Akan saying, “nyansapo wosane no badwemma,” which means “the knot of wisdom is untied only by the wise.”
Art Meets Sustainability
In a world where production often culminates in a disposal dilemma, resulting in a significant financial burden for states, many of these artists seek to redefine creativity by showcasing the ingenuity found in repurposing discarded materials as their primary medium. By transforming waste into stunning artworks, these creators not only draw attention to the urgent issue of environmental sustainability but also challenge conventional notions of beauty, value, and artistic expression. “Beautiful Nonsense” reshapes the relationship between art and its viewers and, in a broader sense, our relationship with the environment.
A Call to Reimagine and Renew
The exhibition invites all to reflect and encourages us to reconsider our relationship with the materials we discard and the potential for renewal within our world of waste. Consequently, we celebrate the unapologetic coexistence of contradictory concepts, inviting contemplation and introspection. As we navigate the interplay of contradictions within the exhibit, we are reminded that art, much like life, can be a canvas on which we project our interpretations, finding resonance in the exquisite dance between the beautiful and the nonsensical.
Join Us at the Museum of Science and Technology, Accra
Don’t miss this exceptional exhibition, where art and sustainability come together to challenge our perceptions and inspire new ways of thinking. “Beautiful Nonsense” is ongoing and will continue to enchant visitors until November 30, 2023. It’s an opportunity to celebrate the power of imagination and the beauty that can be found in the most unexpected places. Join us at the Museum of Science and Technology, Accra, and experience the harmony of chaos and the eloquence of absurdity.
– Prof. Richand Acquaye
– Rikki Wemega-Kwame