26 November 2012

African Wax Prints | Hollandaise

The Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam (SMBA) presents Hollandaise, an exhibition curated by Koyo Kouoh and featuring artists Godfried Donkor, Abdoulaye Konaté, Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Willem de Rooij, and Billie Zangewa. In a description of the exhibition Koyo Kououh explains that, "Wax is African because West Africans say it is theirs. They gave it its singularity, its language and its cultural identity. The market will like to make it a pure commodity with the label “True, Authentic Africa”, but the potential of African consumers to produce their own interpretations speak of their continuous creativity and agency."

London-based Ghanaian artist Godfried Donkor developed the idea of producing a video installation called "The Currency of Ntoma (fabric)", which portrays the extensive collections of Dutch wax prints some West African women have, with fabrics dating back to early 1950s. Kouoh notes that "ever since wax prints were introduced in Africa, women have collected them, along with other textiles such as batiks, lace and Congolese damas... Beyond the financial value of the fabric, the vintage pieces also give the wearer prestige and an aesthetic edge."

The exhibition opened on Nov 3, 2012 and will continue until Jan 6, 2013 at Amsterdam's SMBA.
It will travel to RAW Material Company in Dakar, Senegal from April - June 2013.

For more on Hollandaise, visit the official website.
To read more about Hollandaise in the newsletter, click here.

Excerpts via SMBA Newsletter No 130
Photocredit: (All 3 Images): 
Godfried Donkor, The Currency of Ntoma (fabric), two-channel video projection, 2012 (video still)

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