Diaspora Pavilion | Venice to Wolverhampton
A re-staging of works from the 2017 Diaspora Pavilion

Wolverhampton Art Gallery
VIP Reception Friday 9 February 4:30 – 5:30pm
Private View 5:30pm onwards
Join us to celebrate the opening of the exhibition

Diaspora Pavilion presented the work of nineteen artists at Palazzo Pisani a Santa Marina in Venice during the 57th Biennale. Taking place between 13 May and 26 November 2017, the exhibition included a total of 37 artworks across a variety of media, and demonstrated the complexity and continued relevance that diaspora as a lived in reality holds today, while challenging the prevalence of national pavilions within the Biennale structure.

Diaspora Pavilion | Venice to Wolverhampton presents seven of the artists from the Venice Pavilion at Wolverhampton Art Gallery. Larry Achiampong, Kimathi Donkor, Michael Forbes, susan pui san lok, Paul Maheke, Erika Tan and Abbas Zahedi re-stage works shown in Venice alongside newer works, shifting and driving conversations initiated by the 2017 show around the urgency and importance of the diasporic experience.

Diaspora Pavilion is curated by David A. Bailey and Jessica Taylor as part of a two-year project designed to provide professional development opportunities to a group of eleven artists with the assistance of ten mentor artists, many of whom also exhibited in Venice.

Diaspora Pavilion | Venice to Wolverhampton runs from from 10 February until 29 April 2018.

For more info visit internationalcuratorsforum.org or email gro.m1542591695urofs1542591695rotar1542591695uclan1542591695oitan1542591695retni1542591695@ofni1542591695

Wolverhampton Art Gallery
Lichfield St
Wolverhampton
West Midlands
WV1 1DU

Michael Forbes

The Masquerade (2018), sculptural installation and paintings

For the Diaspora Pavilion Michael Forbes introduces a new installation of sculptural works on plinths and paintings. Within this series of new forms Forbes is exploring widespread and ongoing human issues through an intermixing of old imagery and symbols, such as 16th Century figurines, African masks and carvings, with computer parts and fake designer handbags. The combination of these elements is informed by the ways in which the political and social histories of Africa, the Caribbean, the Americas and Europe have shaped and are continuing to shape notions of power, wealth and education in the 21st century. Commenting on processes of valuation and collection, these works also represent the act of collecting by the artist himself who undertakes extensive travel around the UK and Europe to source the objects staged in the work.

Forbes presented another series of plinths in Venice, Untitled (2017), which echoed many of the above concerns, however The Masquerade (2018) demonstrates a development in the artist’s thinking around globalisation in relation to migration and trade. Forbes’ introduction of fake designer handbags into the installation is a reference to the rise in such imports from China to Europe, which are often sold by African migrants in cities as a means of financial support. However, while Forbes is interested in the narratives that arise through the act of bringing these elements into dialogue with each other, and the ways in which these narratives extend beyond the individual histories and meanings of the objects when this occurs, he is also resistant to an overly didactic approach to the work, focusing to a large degree on the aesthetic qualities and materiality of the work.

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