Yinka Shonibare MBE
(b. 1962, London, UK)
Yinka Shonibare MBE's witty, sensuous and poetic works disrupt and challenge our ideas about cultural identity. They reflect on the complexities of nationality, history and ethnicity, post-colonialism and today's global economy. His paintings, photographs, films and sculptural installations make extensive use of African-print cloth. This vibrantly coloured fabric was originally produced in Dutch Indonesia, then copied and manufactured in England and exported to West Africa. For Shonibare, who was born in England but brought up in Nigeria, it is 'a metaphor for something which is multicultural and essentially hybrid like my own identity.' Theatricality is central to his work, which includes many references to Western art history. He has translated Rococo paintings into three-dimensional tableaux, with mannequins dressed in African fabrics. Shonibare's figures characteristically lack heads - a playful reference to the plight of the aristocracy during the French Revolution. Remarking that this headlessness removes direct connotations of race or individual identity, he says: 'it amused me to explore the possibility of bringing back the guillotine for use on the historical icons of power and deference.'
Richard Phillips is Professor of Geography at the University of Sheffield. A specialist in cultural geography, histories of empire, and postcolonial criticism, he has examined the phenomena of curiosity and adventure in postcolonial travel. His monograph Sex, Politics and Empire: A Postcolonial Geography investigates controversies surrounding prostitution, homosexuality and the age of consent in the British Empire, and radically revises our notions about the importance of sex as a nexus of imperial power relations.
Who's f**king who: Sex in the colonies
Yinka Shonibare MBE in conversation with Professor Richard Phillips
Yinka Shonibare MBE talks with Richard Phillips, Professor of Geography at the University of Sheffield, to explore the history of British sexual behaviour in the colonies and the role of sexuality in power relations during the time of the Empire.
Concessions: 50% off (limited availability)
Venue: Hayward Gallery Lecture Theatre
Approximate duration: 90 minutes
This class is recommended for over 18s