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Yinka Shonibare CBE

3 June 2022 - 4 September 2022

Yinka Shonibare CBE is one of the world's most acclaimed artists. This summer, his films will be screened at Liljevalchs+.

Nigerian-British artist Yinka Shonibare CBE (b. 1962) is this summer's artist in Princess Estelle Sculpture Park in Stockholm. Employing film, sculpture and cultural history, Shonibare encourages us to reflect on how we perceive different cultures in a globalised world. In his art practice, he often departs from well-known artworks or historical events that he transforms and recreates.

In the film Un Ballo in Maschera, Shonibare takes us to the famous masked ball at the Stockholm Opera House in 1792 where Gustav III was assassinated by Johan Anckarström. The work is loosely based on Giuseppe Verdi's eponymous 1859 opera. In Shonibare's version, the operatic form has been replaced with an almost silent dance in which the only thing that is heard is the rustling of the dresses, footsteps and the sound of hand movements. Anckarström and Gustav III are played by women who, instead of the aristocratic masked ball costume of the time, wear flamboyant cloths in brightly-coloured batik fabrics. A hallmark of the artist, the fabrics are often referred to as 'African', but are in fact a blend of Dutch, African and Indonesian influences. With these subtle dislocations, Shonibare raises questiones pertaining to gender and national authenticity. That which at first appears to be authentic is in fact unmasked as something else, something much more complex.

In addition to the film Un Ballo in Maschera, Odile and Odette, based on the ballet Swan Lake, and Addio del Passato, based on an aria from Verdi's La Traviata, will also be screened. 

Shonibare CBE has exhibited at the Venice Biennale and Documenta, among others. His work is represented in collections such as The Tate Collection, London; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Museum of Modern Art, New York and Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

The films are shown in cooperation with Princess Estelle's Cultural Foundation.

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