Mythologie en identiteit: Yinka Shonibare CBE

YINKA SHONIBARE, CBE
Fire Kid (Girl), 2020
Fibreglass mannequin, Dutch wax printed cotton textile, globe, brass, steel baseplate, artificial tree, detachable

Yinka Shonibare CBE RA werd in 1962 in Londen geboren en verhuisde op driejarige leeftijd naar Lagos, Nigeria. Hij keerde terug naar het Verenigd Koninkrijk om Beeldende Kunst te studeren aan de Byam Shaw School of Art in Londen en het Goldsmiths College in Londen, waar hij zijn Master in Beeldende Kunst behaalde. In de afgelopen decennia is Shonibare bekend geworden door zijn onderzoek naar kolonialisme en postkolonialisme binnen de hedendaagse context van globalisering.

Yinka Shonibare’s ‘Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle’

Shonibare werkt met schilderkunst, beeldhouwkunst, fotografie, film en installatie. Zijn werk onderzoekt ras, klasse en de constructie van culturele identiteit door middel van een scherp politiek commentaar op de verwarde relatie tussen Afrika en Europa en hun respectieve economische en politieke geschiedenis. Shonibare gebruikt wrange citaten uit de westerse kunstgeschiedenis en literatuur om de geldigheid van hedendaagse culturele en nationale identiteiten in twijfel te trekken. (James Cohan Gallery)

We hebben in 2009 een aantal werken belicht van deze kunstenaar, en willen graag in deze bijdrage kijken naar wat er verder met hem en zijn werk gebeurde.

YINKA SHONIBARE, CBE
Planets in My Head, Physics, 2010
Mannequin, Dutch wax printed cotton, leather and fiberglass
"I have always viewed art as a form of opera, or as being operatic," Shonibare explained in 2004. "And opera is excessive; it is beyond the real, and therefore hyper-real."
"The main preoccupation within my art education was the construction of signs as outlined in Roland Barthes's Mythologies. So the idea of the theatrical for me is actually about art as the construction of a fiction, art as the biggest liar. What I want to suggest is that there is no such thing as a natural signifier, that the signifier is always constructed--in other words, that what you represent things with is a form of mythology."
YINKA SHONIBARE, CBE
La Méduse , 2008

Beter dan welke verklaring is de ze mooie film van een zevental minuutjes rond zijn project ‘Earth Kids’ (2021) Klik op onderstaand adres om te genieten.

https://www.jamescohan.com/features-items/yinka-shonibare-cbe-earth-kids

Yinka Shonibare CBE, End of Empire, 2016; fiberglass mannequins, Dutch wax printed cotton textile, metal, wood, motor, globes, and leather; 116 × 201 × 39 in
The British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare is debuting four new sculptures in this solo exhibition. Each is an example of the artist’s signature style in its prime—all four figures imply a powerful narrative, and each is cloaked in a Victorian-era garment sewn from the colourful Dutch wax-printed fabrics that Shonibare is known for. As their titles imply, the four sculptures—titled Earth Kid (Boy), Fire Kid (Girl), Air Kid (Boy) and Water Kid (Girl) (all works 2020)—stand in for the elements and together weave a tale that links colonialism to man’s disharmonious relationship to nature. 

Each fiberglass sculpture has a globe for a head and engages in its titular element in some fashion; Fire Kid (Girl) shows a young figure perched against a scorched tree, reading a book, while in Air Kid (Boy) a child steadies his umbrella to brace himself against the wind. Cumulatively, the works pose questions not only of humanity’s cruel history of dominion over one another, but also of our naive attempts to dominate the natural world. The works, however, find hope in their dynamism; Fire Kid’s book teaches her how to avoid future disaster, and Air Kid’s only chance of forward movement is to find symbiosis with the wind. Harmony is possible, though it’s not always achieved through passive means. — Wallace Ludel Miami Art Week
YINKA SHONIBARE, CBE
Water Kid (Girl), 2020
YINKA SHONIBARE, CBE
Air Kid (Boy), 2020
Fibreglass mannequin, Dutch wax printed cotton textile, globe, brass, steel baseplate, umbrella

Voor een vollediger beeld van zijn boeiend beeldend werk verwijzen we graag naar James Cohan waar je een mooi overzicht kunt bekijken van zijn vroeger en hedendaags werk.

https://www.jamescohan.com/artists/yinka-shonibare-cbe

INKA SHONIBARE, CBE
The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters (America), 2008
C-print mounted on aluminum

Ook via bij zijn eigen website is het zalig toeven en kun je zijn veelzijdigheid ervaren;

https://yinkashonibare.com/

Yinka Shonibare, in collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Space Walk, 2002. Pigment on cotton sateen and cotton brocade, fiberglass, resin, plastic.
“Scramble for Africa” (2003) by Yinka Shonibare
Throughout history, if you look at Western Art, be it Matisse or Picasso, a lot of artists took their influence from African art very clearly. It’s not a problem, but when an African artist does the same it can be described sometimes – and I’ve heard this term – as derivative. But if a Western artist takes from African art, of course, they’ve got a right to do that. This show is based on the premise that I discovered that Picasso collected over 100 African artefacts and if you look at his paintings, you will see the influence of African art


The other reason for doing the exhibition is that at the moment artists of African origin are the kind of hottest thing, they’ve become really fashionable. But we had that moment in Paris in the 1920s and in 30s America with the Harlem Renaissance. There were Black performers like Josephine Baker in Paris, Black intellectuals like James Baldwin. There was a Black moment that was super fashionable.

The important thing politically is that we’re not fashion. We are here to stay. The work should be respected because, as you know, people take from Black artists, it goes mainstream, and then the artists are not remembered. In the context of the George Floyd moment that we’re in – although this show was actually conceived beforehand – the important thing is to realise that we need to look at those power relations and that’s what this show is about.
Woman shooting Cherry Blossoms