Godfried Donkor, Currency of Ntoma (2012) | video still
Wendelien van Oldenborgh, La Javanaise (2012) | production still photograph by Bárbara Wagner
An iconic fabric at Raw Material
Raw Material Company announces the exhibition Hollandaise: a journey into an iconic fabric. The exhibition features newly commissioned works by Godfried Donkor, Abdoulaye Konate, Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Willem de Rooij and Billie Zangewa. The project is the result of a curatorial collaboration between Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam (SMBA) and Raw Material Company in the context of Project 1975.
Fabrics have played an important role in the decolonization of knowledge. Fabrics tell stories, family stories, stories of commerce, of labor, of creativity, of skills.The background for this exhibition is the long-standing commercial relationship between The Netherlands and Africa. The title refers to the colourful printed fabrics that are exported from The Netherlands to Africa, and are generally known in West Africa as Hollandaise, or Dutch Wax.
Five artists from diverse practices and backgrounds were commissioned for new works that interpret the trading relations and the cultural aesthetics embedded in the history of this fabric. The exhibition presents a two-channel video, The Currency of Ntoma, by Godfried Donkor. The video tells the story of the tradition of collecting wax prints by Ghanean women. Untitled, Abdoulaye Konate’s new two-meter-by-seven-meter tapestry, depicts a moment of celebration amidst current war and politcal tensions. La Javanaise is a challenging two-channel cinematic dissection of the Dutch colonial enterprise by Wendelien van Oldenborgh. Blue to Black by Willem de Rooij is a silent critique of racial categorization translated into a specifically designed and manufactured fabric. With the silk tapestries Angelina Rising, Billie Zangewa subverts the notion of freedom and liberation with one of the most popular Vlisco designs.
Raw Material Company is a not-for-profit center for art, knowledge and society. It is an art initiative unfolding within the realms of exhibition making, creative residencies, knowledge sharing, and archiving and production of theory and criticism. It works to foster appreciation and growth of artistic and intellectual creativity in Africa. RMC is also part of Videobrasil Residency Network.
Learn more at their website.