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Yinka Shonibare CBE at Serpentine Galleries

Suspended States

Serpentine South Gallery | London, United Kingdom

April 12 - September 1, 2024

IMAGE OF YINKA SHONIBARE CBE'S Decolonised Structures (Queen Victoria), 2022


Decolonised Structures (Queen Victoria), 2022

Fibreglass sculpture, hand-painted with Dutch wax pattern and wooden plinth

54 3/4 x 29 1/2 x 22 1/2 in.
139 x 75 x 57 cm



Press Release

Suspended States addresses the suspension of boundaries, whether psychological, physical, or geographical—all boundaries of nationhood are in a state of suspense. This is an exhibition in which Western iconography is reimagined and interrogated, at a moment in history when Nationalism, protectionism and hostility towards foreigners is on the rise.” – Yinka Shonibare CBE

For over 30 years, Yinka Shonibare CBE has used Western art history and literature to explore contemporary culture and national identities. Suspended States is the artist’s first London solo exhibition in over 20 years. It showcases new works, interrogating how systems of power affect sites of refuge, debates on public statues, the ecological impact of colonialisation and the legacy of imperialism on conflict and consequential attempts at peace.

The exhibition includes two new major installations at Serpentine South. Sanctuary City, 2024, is comprised of miniature buildings representing places of refuge for persecuted and vulnerable groups. The War Library, 2024, consists of 5,000 books bound in Dutch wax print representing conflicts and peace treaties.



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