Boomerang presents new site-specific work by this exciting contemporary artist, known for his head-turning sculptures and installations. The boomerang itself makes for a curious parallel to Tayou's work: as both a toy and a weapon, that comes and goes. It breaks down borders and plays into Tayou's fascination with identity. All of these complex themes are woven with dexterity and joy at the Serpentine, with the occasional tweeting of birds and the faint smell of hay to help transport you to another realm in west Africa.
Pascale Marthine Tayou biography
Born in Cameroon, Pascale Marthine Tayou divides his time between Belgium and Cameroon and originally studied law before becoming a self-taught artist.
Pascale Marthine Tayou work and techniques
Tayou is known for challenging notions of individual and national identity, and often tackles socio-economic issues and consumer culture in his work. He does so through the skilled combination of discarded and found objects with strong links to developing countries, as diverse as glass, wood, cloth and consumer waste.
Serpentine Sackler Gallery exhibition
You’ll discover mysterious human forms and monstrous animals in the site-specific creations at this new Serpentine exhibition, as Tayou unravels layers of meaning and possibility. Combining a powerful awareness of his position as both a European artist, and a native of Cameroon, Tayou tackles the complex topics of colonialism and sense of place, alongside an innate joy in colour and material. As a Belgian artist, born in Cameroon, Tayou enjoys exploring what it means to be from a certain place, and the different treatment he receives as a European in the art world in comparison to with his family in west Africa.
The running motifs of piled ceramic pots, colourful plastic bags and tourist tat sculptures of african figures create continuity to the show, and make you feel as if you have stepped into the heart of a Cameroonian village. The Colons hybrid figures, which you could imagine under the arm of any traveller, have ambiguous features and strange proportions which could be both European and African in origin. Bordering on the real and the traditional, the Colons' enormous cousins can be found in the Magazine Restaurant.
Along one side of the Sackler Gallery, an enormous collage of photographs from a local market acts as a window out from the western viewing space into the heart of Africa. And don't be fooled by the pipes that line the white cube space that blend effortlessly with the varied materials of the show, Oil Pipline (2015) is a work in itself that comments on the power structures of the oil industry. Tayou's choice of material is spectacular, and draws directly from his connection to west Africa with the frequent use of ground coffee and chocolate.
The last time any of his works were exhibited in a UK art gallery was in 2008; so now is the perfect time to catch Tayou’s fantastical blend of traditional craft with modern materials at the Sackler Gallery. Just look out for the 100-metre snake of Africonda! You'll be bending and ducking to avoid the quirky installations by Tayou at the Serpentine, from a cotton wool cloud that magically hangs together with spikes of wood threatening to disentangle the whole thing, to a tangle of colourful plastic drinking straws.
Satirical, political and wickedly aware: Pascale Marthine Tayou's exhibition is a great starting place for young ones with contemporary art - just mind your heads! Suitable for ages 8+
|What||Pascale Marthine Tayou: BOOMERANG, Serpentine Sackler Gallery|
|Where||Serpentine Sackler Gallery, West Carriage Drive , Kensington Gardens, London , W2 2AR | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Lancaster Gate (underground)|
04 Mar 15 – 17 May 15, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
|Website||Click here for more details|