A piece of fabric, six metres high and four metres wide, will flutter in the Gerisch Sculpture Park throughout the summer. This colourful feature is called Wind Sculpture. Specially created for this site, it will be installed in front of the time-honoured Villa Wachholtz by the artist Yinka Shonibare MBE, who was born in London in 1962 and grew up in Lagos, Nigeria.
Connoisseurs will identify the fabric pattern as an African wax print. Wax prints are mainly known from West African shawls and clothes. With their bright, ornamental patterns, they bring forth ideas of African exoticism that are laden with longing. They are the basic component of numerous works by Shonibare. Figures dressed in Victorian costumes made of these fabrics are characteristic of his work. Placed in provocative positions, these figures produce a bizarre image in which the artist plays with stereotypical ideas of race, class and culture. Although the fabrics used are still considered to be original African products, this wax print method has its historical origin in Java, Indonesia, rather than in Africa, as is usually assumed. Produced industrially in the Netherlands and the UK, they became successful exports of European colonialism. Their supposed authenticity turns out to be a construct. Apparently politico-cultural truths about Africa are shown to be multilayered refractions seen through the visionary prism of European eyes. Shonibare‘s highly individual critical approach to the colonial history that connects both continents lends his works their special attractiveness, all the more so because he instils in them his typically colourful, vital narrative joy.
Wednesday to Friday, 11.00 - 18.00
Saturday - Sunday, 11.00 - 19:00
6 € (concessions 5 €)