Yinka Shonibare CBE: End of Empire

Yinka Shonibare CBE: End of Empire

22 May - 3 October 2021
Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Austria
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Overview

A major survey of Yinka Shonibare CBE's practice opened at Museum der Moderne SalzburgAustria in May 2021, coinciding with the centennial of the Salzburg Festival. Curated by Thorsten Sadowsky and Marijana Schneider, the show presents around sixty works from the past three decades including major large-scale sculptures. 

‘End of Empire’ by Yinka Shonibare CBE is a striking work featuring two figures dressed in the artist’s signature Dutch wax batik fabric, seated on a Victorian see-saw which slowly pivots in the space. This powerful imagery imitates the shifting points of balance in world politics over the course of World War I and the ensuing colonial fallout. The figures’ heads are replaced by globes, the maps depicting geopolitical borders as they were drawn in 1917. The bodies are clothed in Victorian suits, their colonial implications skewed by the brightly coloured fabric that, in Shonibare’s own words, is “Ethnisicing the Aristocracy”. This is characteristic of the artist’s engaged and critical approach, which uses appealing imagery and light-hearted insertions such as the see-saw to tackle important issues head on. First exhibited in 2016 at Turner Contemporary, Margate, UK, ‘End of Empire’ was created by Shonibare as part of 14-18 NOW, a programme of World War I Centenary Art commissions to commemorate...

‘End of Empire’ by Yinka Shonibare CBE is a striking work featuring two figures dressed in the artist’s signature Dutch wax batik fabric, seated on a Victorian see-saw which slowly pivots in the space. This powerful imagery imitates the shifting points of balance in world politics over the course of World War I and the ensuing colonial fallout. The figures’ heads are replaced by globes, the maps depicting geopolitical borders as they were drawn in 1917. The bodies are clothed in Victorian suits, their colonial implications skewed by the brightly coloured fabric that, in Shonibare’s own words, is “Ethnisicing the Aristocracy”. This is characteristic of the artist’s engaged and critical approach, which uses appealing imagery and light-hearted insertions such as the see-saw to tackle important issues head on.

First exhibited in 2016 at Turner Contemporary, Margate, UK, ‘End of Empire’ was created by Shonibare as part of 14-18 NOW, a programme of World War I Centenary Art commissions to commemorate the First World War.

Installation views: Yinka Shonibare CBE. 'End of Empire', Museum der Moderne Salzburg, 2021 © Museum der Moderne Salzburg. Photo by Rainer Iglar.

A major survey of Yinka Shonibare CBE's practice opened at Museum der Moderne SalzburgAustria in May 2021, coinciding with the centennial of the Salzburg Festival. Curated by Thorsten Sadowsky and Marijana Schneider, the show presents around sixty works from the past three decades including major large-scale sculptures. 

Website
Location

Wiener-Philharmoniker-Gasse 9, 5020 Salzburg, Austria

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