Yinka Shonibare / selected works

Yinka Shonibare is one of those artists who remain consistent in focussing their practice on a specific set of issues - in his case, questions related to British colonial imperialism, which extend further into contemporary postcolonial complexity.

This artist of British-Nigerian descent is known for his theatrical, multi-threaded and colourful works, featuring, among other things: headless mannequins, ballet dancers, wild animals with Black-Berry phones and gilded pistols, as well as opera arias sung by the wife of Admiral Nelson. Shonibare incorporates fabrics into his paintings, installations and videos as a perfect token of the ambiguity or even contradiction inherent in postcolonial culture. Manufacturing fabrics that seem truly African turns out to have been initiated in the Netherlands following Indonesian patterns, while the items themselves were marketed in 19th century in Western Africa, where only over the course of time did they become part of the African identity.

Shonibare comes up with apt combinations of both historic and contemporary symbols, histories and paradigms - dressing up Victorian figures in African fabrics; or showing stuffed animals with modern gadgets to refer to the Arab Spring. Calling himself a postcolonial hybrid, the artist concentrates on the dynamics of meanings generated in-between the great narrations.

Patrycja Ryłko

Yinka Shonibare

b. 1962 in Great Britain, artist of Nigerian origins, shortlisted for the Turner Prize (2004), invited by Okwui Enwezor to participate in documenta 11 (2002), exhibited his works at the Venice Biennale (2001, 2007), the Brooklyn Museum (NYC), the Stephen Friedman Gallery (London), the Museum of African Art (Washington DC), the James Cohan Gallery (NYC), the National Gallery (London), Tate Britain (London), Moderna Museet (Stockholm), the Victoria and Albert Museum (London), the Whitechapel Gallery (London), the Buena Centre for Arts (San Francisco), the Contemporary Art Museum (Kumamoto) and many more.

Yinka Shonibare / selected works

Opening: 29.11. 2013 | 19:30

Exhibition: 30.08.2013 - 31.12.2013

Curator: Patrycja Ryłko

Venue: Gdansk City Gallery 2 (GGM2), ul. Powroźnicza 13/15, Gdańsk, 80-828

Gallery opening hours: Tue-Wed 11-17, Thu-Sun 11-19

Project supported by:

The exhibition will be presented Wrocław Contemporary Museum from 18th January 2014 till 17th March 2014.

Events during the exhibition:

03.12.2013 - Discussion on Postcolonialism:

Konrad Schiller, Przemysław Strożek, Janek Simon

05.12.2013 - Lecture by dr Ewa Klekot on Postcolonialism.

Konrad Schiller (b.1982), art historian, curator; graduate of postcolonial studies in visual culture at the Goldsmiths College in London. Curator of several exhibitions: Naughty Children of Alfred Jarry in Berlin and London, Tropical Gothic at the Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw, among others. Contributes with texts on art and culture, published in “Obieg”, “Czas Kultury”, “Focus”, “Dziennik Gazeta Prawna”, “Przekrój”. Collaborator of the new art magazine “SZUM”. Author of texts in the catalogues of Tropicalisms at the Gdańsk City Gallery 2 and the individual show of Robert Kuśmirowski at the State Art Gallery in Sopot. Awarded two scholarships in the programme “Young Poland” funded by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.

Przemysław Strożek (b. 1983), assistant professor at the Institute of Art of the Polish academy of Sciences, holder of the Fulbright Scholarship and member of the European Network for Avant-garde and Modernist Studies. Author of many publications on the avant-garde, and more recently - a book about Marinetti in Poland (IS PAN, 2012). Author of a chapter on the Afro-American fascinations of Italian futurists in the book Afromodenisms (Edinburgh University Press, 2013), a text about the reception of Josephine Baker in the avant-garde art (“Dialog” 2012 vol. 1) and a number of publications on afro-futurism in “Lampa” and at

Janek Simon (b. 1977), lives and works in Warsaw. Studied psychology and sociology at the Jagiellonian University in Cracow. Conceptual artist; occasionally works as a curator. Interested in the questions of space and distance in their cultural dimension, ethics and DIY economics, as well as the potential in applying scientific methods in artistic practice. Works have been displayed at, among others, Manifesta 7 and Biennials in Prague, Budapest and Liverpool. Individual exhibitions at Bristol’s Arnolfini, Luxembourg’s Casino Luxembourg and numerous public institutions in Poland. His works have also appeared on various occasions at the Tate Britain, Tate Modern, Kunst Werke and Kunsthalle Hamburg, among others.