Installation 400 x 300 x 244 cm
Real and fake Vlisco textiles, velvet, fake fur, taffeta, Dutch man suit textile, cotton, wool, metal, ceramics, wood, wild pork skin, turning table, acrylics, gesso, canvas, foam.
In Toxic Relationship I observe that while the European businessman is proud to invest in Africa, the African migrant feels invisible in Europe. My work explores this relationship dynamics which is influenced by a history of colonization that never ended, and where the powerful used all strategies to exploit the richness of its vulnerable colonial territory. Some symbols I use to explore this dynamic are the fabrics of Vlisco, which are dumped in Africa already for 200 years. I also used hairy bananas, in the painting and in the central figure, as a symbol of metamorphosed tropicality. The central figure is composed by a hanging totem that contains part of an African man portrait in ceramics, and a rotating map of Europe, which gives the totem a constant tap. The totem I created, symbolises the transformation from invisibility to awareness of own vulnerability and resilience.