‘Egg Fight' is a provocative installation inspired by themes developed in Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels (1726), referring specifically to lengthy battles between the fictitious empires of Lilliput and Blefuscu over the religious question of "egg-breaking" which in Swift's time symbolised the long series of wars between Catholics and Protestants. The work illustrates Shonibare's fascination in the clash between culture, politics and society.
While the two figures involved in the "battle of eggs" (Egg Fight) get ready to fight through a physical division, the protagonists of the video and photographs Odile & Odette, 2005, conducted in collaboration with the Royal Opera House London, reflect each other and each side of a frame ornamented in Baroque. Here, the artist creates a complex and subtle interaction between two dancers, where the duality of characters is highlighted by the difference in colour.
Included in the exhibition is the iconic sculptural installation The Crowning, 2007, inspired by the works of Jean-Honoré Fragonard and exhibited in 2007 at the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris. This work, like the wall mounting Little Rich Girls, 2010, establishes a link between leisure, wealth, pleasures and exploitation of slave labor, asking questions about colonization and its consequences. The exhibition will feature other major works from Shonibare, including Revolution Kid (Calf), 2012; photographic series Fake Death, 2011 and Climate Shit Drawing, 2009.
The exhibition runs from 23 May until 20 September 2014.