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Yinka Shonibare MBE, Adam and Eve 2013
Mannequins, Dutch wax cotton textile, fibreglass, wire and steel baseplate, 285x230x115cm. Copyright the artist
Courtesy the artist and Stephen Friedman gallery, London and Blain | Southern, Berlin
Photo by Christian Glaeser, 2014.
Yinka Shonibare, MBE: Recreating The Pastoral
CARLOW • VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art • 6 February - 19 June 2016
British-based, Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare, MBE, whose art explores the relationship between African identity and European colonialism is best known for working with visual symbols, especially the richly patterned Dutch wax fabric, produced in Europe for a West African market, which he uses in a wide range of applications.
Recreating The Pastoral draws the viewer through a series of installations which juxtapose elements of elaborate 18th and 19th Century European dress and courtly behaviour with contemporary political sensitivities expressed through Shonibare's use of Dutch wax cotton cloth, itself a culturally ambiguous material replete with a colonial history of appropriation.The installations question Euro-centric histories, and are a powerful expression of the complexities inherent in contemporary discourse on post-colonialism and identity. Shonibare's Jardin d'Amour mimics the frivolity and excess of 18th Century Europe. The theatrical staging of works, framed within an elaborate artificial maze draw references to the colonial relationship to landscape, and the control and creation of spaces for pleasure by a powerful elite.
VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art Website
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