Silent Post

An already wide-known installation by Angelika Böck titled „Stille Post“ (Silent Post) introduces the new exhibition „Afrika – der andere Blick“ (Africa – the other view) at the Kunsthaus Kaufbeuren. Till the 6th of May sculptures of colonial Africa can be marvelled at as a subject to „the other view“ of African artists. Most of the sculptures are courtesy of collector Jo Späth, who operates his own private museum of non-European art in Windach am Ammersee and whose figures in this case concentrate especially on the administrative-execu- tive area such as white colonial masters, military personnel, and policemen with uniforms, arms, pith helmets, and heavy boots to depict the foreign white man. The objects originate from various regions and traditions in Africa, therefore also different in style and quality. Nevertheless the portrayals of colonials are what unites the exhibition, interesting enough that the color of their skin or the complexion is not of importance at all.

This is why Angelika Böck’s installation might be the best example to intro- duce the exhibition. The result of her experiment in Côte-d’Ivoire/Ivory Coast comprises five portraits sculpted in wood – originally her portrayal. She had asked a local African artist to carve her bust. Just like the principle of Silent Post (a kids‘ game in English also known as Chinese whispers or Telephone), the finished sculpture served as a prototype for a second sculpture which was carved in another village. The second was a model for the third, the third for the fourth, and the fourth for the fifth. The metamorphosis is obvious. The busts distance themselves more and more from the original model, and as a result the last bust differs enormously in comparison to the first. Lips become thicker, eyes continually smaller, the hair grows shorter, while breast and nipples get more and more accentuated and defined, first covered up by a T-shirt, in the end with no cloths at all …

… a white (wo)man can be black after all!

Dosch, Stefan, 2007: Ein Weißer kann auch schwarz sein. In: Allgäuer Zeitung. Nr. 50, S.12.
Galerie Peter Hermann, o.J.: Stille Post (dt.), Silent Post (engl.).
Kunsthaus Kaufbeuren, 2007: Afrika – der andere Blick. Aktuelle Ausstellung.
Rinke, Jan, 2005: Blickwechsel. In: Afrika-Post. 4/2005, S.59. Online at Presseseite der Galerie Peter Herrmann.
Wendl, Tobias, 1999: Die Installation StillePost von Angelika Böck. In: Wahrnehmung und Differenz. Zur Ausstellung im Iwalewa Haus.

Munich’s Museum of Anthropology also published a catalogue:
Staatliches Museum für Völkerkunde München, 2004: Stille Post. Versuchs- anordnungen in Kunst und Wissenschaft – Angelika Böck und Hans Himmelheber. Katalog (via Amazon).

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Posted on Freitag, März 2nd, 2007 at 16:58, filed under Ethnology, Museology. Subscribe to this feed, leave a response, or trackback from your own site. You are also welcome to Print This Post Print This Post .

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