Du 17 mars au 6 mai 2017
26 Barrett St, Marylebone
London W1U 1BG
Né au Zimbabwe, in 1983, Takadiwa est connu pour ses sculptures murales, faites de débris récoltés, tels que bouchons de bouteilles, pièces d’ordinateurs et autres objets en métal, qui interroge la culture, le langage et l’environnement. L’exposition présente un nombre de ses sculptures qui curieusement, et bien qu’elles n’en est pas la matière, s’apparente immédiatement à des tapisseries.
The title “Say Hello to English” derives from the fact that for many Zimbabweans, and Africans broadly, it has been essential to speak colonial languages to gain an education and get ahead during the colonial era. This created an English-speaking elite, with indigenous languages and native cultures diminished.
The concept of the exhibition has been inspired by the work of Kenyan writer Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o. In his book ‘Decolonising the Mind’, the author highlights the inseparable connection between language and cultural dominance.
The artist takes inspiration from the “Rhodes Must Fall” movement in questioning the validity of Western oriented education in Africa. In creating the works for Say Hello to English, the artist, with his team of young assistants, destroyed thousands of computer key boards left over from the colonial administration, an action which mimics the tearing down of statues and burning down of libraries by students demanding the decolonisation of academia. Takadiwa then places the keyboards randomly side by side, thereby fabricating his own ‘decolonised’ meaning or language. Takadiwa concludes that colonial histories cannot be entirely destroyed or denied but must instead be used to construct new narratives.