The Vonpischmeyer Collection. Olivier Goka

About the collection

The Vonpischmeyer Collection is a set of plastic sculptures which inspiration was directly drawn from the catalogues and pieces kept in the museums of African tribal arts. The making process of The Vonpischmeyer Collection artworks consists in a method of plastic assembly that the Belgian artist Olivier Goka has been meticulously developing for years. In his studio, he has accumulated and classified, by colour and by form, an unbelievable quantity of pieces of plastic, gathered here and there with the help of his circle of acquaintances.

Moreover, this approach sends us back to the abstract dimension of certain sections of tribal arts – which seduced so many modern artists – while restoring some industrial products respectability. A playful and offbeat look juggling with truth and falsehood, tradition and novelty, precious and secular wastes of our household appliances consumerism, allows the themes addressed by The Vonpischmeyer Collection to resonate with numerous museum questions (what to show? How? What meaning and function shall we give the kept pieces), historical problematics (the authenticity and origin of the pieces and how they got there, especially in colonial times) and artistic considerations (notions of beauty, usefulness and quality).

The Vonpischmeyer Collection saw the light in 2007 at Le Botanique cultural centre in Brussels. The genuine fake Vonpischmeyer Collection – named after an imaginary collector, the artist’s double, great material gatherer – was since enriched with numerous pieces and was eventually showcased in 2013 in the masks and sculptures room of the Royal Museum for Central Africa, facing one of the largest collection of tribal arts in the world.

About the Artist

Olivier Goka. Illustrator, cartoonist, animator, Olivier Goka is above all an original sculpture craftsman of plastic salvage: he sorts out, works and puts together all sorts of gleaned objects to create a galaxy of diverse characters-objects and to develop an off-the-wall but meticulous sculpture artwork.

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