This summer, Fondation Blachère, Apt, France, is presenting a solo exhibition and new light installation by Yinka Shonibare MBE RA. The exhibition takes its cue from Shonibare’s installation Egg Fight (2009) recently acquired by Fondation Blachère. Inspired by Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver Travels, the piece is a satirical staging of the divisions between Protestants and Catholics through the argument over which end of a boiled egg should be broken, the large or small end. This work reflects Shonibare’s interest in addressing conflicting ideologies observed in culture, politics and society.
While in Egg Fight, the two figures prepare to antagonise one another, ballerinas Odile and Odette (2005-2006) engage in a synchronised silent choreography performed in the dual spaces of the dancer and her ‘reflection’. Conceived in collaboration with the Royal Opera House, London, Shonibare's interpretation pushes Odile’s evil impersonation of Odette in Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake by highlighting the multilayered dichotomy between evil and good, dark and light, and their implicit association to skin colour.
Also included in the exhibition is the emblematic sculptural installation The Crowning drawing from Jean-Honoré Fragonard and displayed at Musée du Quai Branly, Paris in 2007. Both this piece and the mural installation Little Rich Girls (2010), create a link between leisure, wealth, pleasure, and the slave and colonial systems that contributed to sustain the privileges of the bourgeoisie.
Other pieces on show will include Revolution Kid (Calf) (2013), the Fake Death series (2011), andClimate Shit Drawing (2008-2009) lent by various institutions, galleries and private collections. In addition, a four-meter Victorian light dress conceived in collaboration with Blachère Illumination will be exhibited in the fondation’s garden.
This exhibition is organised by Fondation Blachère in collaboration with Stephen Friedman Gallery.