The Art of Humanity

Imago Mundi – Luciano Benetton Collection
Museo Carlo Bilotti di Villa Borghese, Roma

“Until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter”.

Imago Mundi, the global artistic project promoted by Luciano Benetton and by Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche, has appropriated this evocative metaphor written by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe, gathering thirteen collections of contemporary art from sixteen African countries. This gave rise to an unusual, rich and fascinating visual tale put together exclusively by African artists, either well-established or young discoveries: a contribution to a reflection on African aesthetics that, overcoming prejudices and stereotypes, embodies the ethnic, social, geographic and cultural diversity of an entire continent.

The contemporary collections from Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Kenya, Morocco, Mauritania, Mozambique, Senegal, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Zanzibar and Zimbabwe — over 2,000 10×12 centimetre works, gathered under the title The Art of Humanity — will be exhibited in Rome, from 20th November 2014 to 11th January 2015, at the Carlo Bilotti Museum (Orangerie of Villa Borghese), in cooperation with Roma Capitale, Council Department of Culture, Creativity and Artistic Promotion — Capitoline Superintendency of Cultural Heritage, and with the Italian Foreign Ministry.

With this exhibition, in fact, Imago Mundi has the momentous task of representing the crucial role played by art and culture in the development of the African continent, within the Italy-Africa initiative, a current project promoted by the Italian Foreign Ministry which will conclude with a ministerial Conference in 2015.


The promotion of the project and involved artists continues online through the platform, which — under the founding spirit of the Luciano Benetton Collection: cataloguing, sharing, bringing to the future the thousands of 10×12 centimetre works — presents all of the Imago Mundi collections, displayed in digital quality, together with a series of information on topics ranging from the participating artists in the various countries to available catalogues, to shows and exhibitions organised around the world.