Monrovia has had a rough time as the capital of Liberia. It’s been rocked by two civil wars, an Ebola epidemic, and a slew of related economic problems… all of which have left behind modernist ruins from the city’s more stable past. François Beaurain’s “Monrovia Animated” series uses these decaying utopian structures as sets for some grand choreography that looks straight out of the golden era of decadent Hollywood musicals. I wouldn’t expect any of these dancers to go diving in that pool for some synchronized swimming, though. This is definitely one instance of GIF art where the medium’s lack of audio contributes to the uncanniness of the content—a silent musical number in an abandoned hotel.
The series was featured in the joint Guggenheim Bilbao and Vitra Design Museum exhibition Making Africa.