The Fake Death Pictures are surrounded by a number of other sculptural objects and a video, giving them the feel of a larger, integrated ensemble installation. But in the end, I was focused on the photographs. Shonibare's visual inversions (both eye-popping and more subtle) are relatively straightforward one-for-one replacements, but they are still remarkably effective in disrupting the dramatic balance of the original scenes. He hijacks these stories and rebuilds them with his own theatrical narrative, calling attention not only to an alternate view of history, but also to the many symbolic parallels in current times: the once powerful empires are decaying, challenged by the continuing rise of the once underestimated.
- Artist site (here)
- Features/Reviews: Artcritical (here), ARTINFO (here), TimeOut New York (here)
- Interview: Whitehot (here)
James Cohan Gallery
533 West 26th Street