yinka shonibare MBE in group exhibition at nasher museum of art, duke university

20 July 2013
Yinka Shonibare MBE features work alongside Susan Harbage Page and Pedro Lasch in a fascinating group exhibition at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, North Carolina, USA.

The important work 'Scramble for Africa'2013 by Yinka Shonibare MBE feature in this show. The complex sculptural tableu assembles 14 mannequins around a table with a map of Africa at its center. This installation reimagines the Berlin Conference (1884-85) that resulted in a continent separated and parceled out among European powers, creating divisions that led to conflict and bloodshed. Arranged in theatrical poses, each mannequin is dressed in a Dutch wax-print fabric. This cloth further hints at the process of colonization, as the Dutch wax-prints were originally based on batik fabrics that originated in Indonesia, a former Dutch colony. The Dutch and English who manufactured the fabric later found a stronger market in West Africa and over time the prints have become most closely associated with African identity. By dressing his figures in this way, Shonibare questions methods of identity creation. This work also deals with the struggle for control of natural resources and goods, an issue still at play in global politics today.

Yinka Shonibare MBE at Nasher Museum of Art