Tuesday, June 24, 2014

"The British Library" by Yinka Shonibare MBE at the Brighton Festival

The British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare was commissioned by the Brighton Festival (an annual arts festival in the English town of Brighton) and HOUSE 2014 to create this sculptural installation, entitled The British Library.  The installation replaced all of the books in the Brighton Museum's Old Reference Library with books wrapped in African wax cloth, which is an Indonesian-Dutch hybrid.  The spines of the books were printed with the names of famous immigrants and descendants of immigrants to Britain, including T.S. Eliot, Kazuo Ishiguro, Hans Holbein, Emma Watson, Mick Jagger, and Queen Elizabeth II herself.  Shonibare's installation, like much of his other work, is a comment on the centrality of immigrants to British culture and history.

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