Universes in Universe - Worlds of Art

49th Venice Biennale
10 June - 4 November 2001

Venice / 2001 / Authentic / Ex-centric

Yinka Shonibare
Yinka Shonibare 1962 London
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Vacation, 2000
Wax-printed cotton textile, fiberglass

On first inspection, Yinka Shonibare's »Vacation« seems an innocuous play on space exploration and its implications for science and human progress.

However, Shonibare's astronauts are dressed in space suits of so-called African wax-printed cotton textile, certainly not the attire normally associated with space travel. The astronauts' attire evokes the notion of 'going native', while speaking to the possibilities of a dominant 'Other'.

Shonibare's suggestion that one can embody the paradox of alien/Other and colonialist/explorer demonstrates the complexity of power dynamics between groups.

(From the press information)
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Authentic / Ex-centric