Acquisition
3 October 2018

Contemporary Art Society Collections Fund at Frieze buys major work by Kehinde Wiley for The Box, Plymouth

Stephen Friedman Gallery is delighted to announce that The Contemporary Art Society Collections Fund at Frieze has acquired a major film by Kehinde Wiley for The Box, Plymouth. This new museum and art gallery is set to open in 2020, bringing together six of the city’s collections into one venue.

Kehinde Wiley's 'Narrenschiff (Ship of Fools)' 2017, is the artist's first three-channel film. Interweaving art history with present day politics, the film investigates the key subjects of migration, madness and isolation in contemporary America. Discussing the work, Wiley explains: "'Narrenschiff’ is an experiment. I wanted to obliviate the space that exists between painting and filmic space. I wanted to obliviate that tissue that exists between visual and literary poetry. And so there’s a very strong reason why the language of representation and resistance, such as the psychological writings of Foucault and Fanon, start to come into the picture with 'Narrenschiff'."

The Contemporary Art Society’s Collections Fund was set up in 2012. Designed to support the acquisition of significant contemporary works for Contemporary Art Society museum members across the UK, the Fund draws together the knowledge and experience of private collectors with that of museum curators. The Collections Fund at Frieze was awarded to The Box after a competitive application process open to the Contemporary Art Society’s 70 Museum Members across the UK.

'Narrenschiff (Ship of Fools)', 2017, which features an original score by composer Maxim Budnick, is narrated by acclaimed actress CCH Pounder who reads from Michel Foucault's 'Madness and Civilization' and Frantz Fanon's 'The Wretched of the Earth'. A collage of wide-panning shots explores three interwoven scenes; enigmatic faces peer above the water’s edge straight into the camera’s lens; figures silently stand in groups contemplating the ocean; and a bird’s-eye view follows men swimming as a collective. 'Narrenschiff (Ship of Fools)' sympathetically expands on the theme of mankind’s enduring relationship with the ocean but also suggests wider concerns of international territories and governance.

‘Narrenschiff (Ship of Fools)’ is being shown in the viewing room at Stephen Friedman Gallery’s booth (Stand C9) at Frieze London.

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