Group Exhibition
23 October 2019–26 January 2020

Yinka Shonibare CBE is included in 'When Home Won't Let You Stay: Migration through Contemporary Art'

ICA Boston, USA
When Home Won't Let You Stay: Migration through Contemporary Art is a group exhibition at Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, USA. The exhibition borrows its title from a poem by Warsan Shire, a Somali-British poet who gives voice to the experiences of refugees. Bringing together the work of twenty artists from around the globe, the show considers how contemporary artists are responding to the migration, immigration, and displacement of peoples today.

We are currently witnessing the highest levels of movement on record - the United Nations estimates that one out of every seven people in the world is an international or internal migrant. When Home Won't Let You Stay highlights the diversity of artistic responses to migration and includes artworks in a wide range of media made since 2000. Artists included in the exhibition are Kader Attia, Tania Bruguera, Isaac Julien, Hayv Kahraman, Reena Saini Kallat, Richard Mosse, Carlos Motta, Yinka Shonibare, Xaviera Simmons, and Do-Ho Suh, among others.

The exhibition concludes with Yinka Shonibare CBE's 'The American Library' (2018), a room filled floor-to-ceiling with over 6,000 books bound in Dutch wax cloth and imprinted in gold with the names of individuals who are first or second generation immigrants, or descendants of those who moved during the Great Migration, and have made a contribution to American culture. The work's interactive web platform invites visitors to learn more about the individuals named, and to contribute their family's own migration stories, establishing the library as an ever expanding, always unfinished archive.

A fully illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition, with an essay by Eva Respini and Ruth Erickson and texts by prominent scholars Aruna D'Souza, Okwui Enwezor, Thomas Keenan, Peggy Levitt, and Uday Singh Mehta, among others. This exhibition is organized by Ruth Erickson, Mannion Family Curator, and Eva Respini, Barbara Lee Chief Curator, with Ellen Tani, Assistant Curator.


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