Note: Slusser Gallery hours are M-F 9am-5pm; Sat 12-7pm.
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About this exhibit:
…of Prosperity, 2011. Mixed-media installation (life-size fiberglass sculpture and cotton fabric), originally shown at the Venice Biennale 2011, from the collection of the Norton Museum, Florida.
Continuing to use the character of Sophie, Sibande incorporates the blue of the traditional servant’s uniform and whitekerchief and apron in juxtaposition to hundreds of quilted squares.This illustrates South Africa’s colonial past and Dutch influence and history of servitude in contrast to a new democracy and vision. Sophie bears the remnants of the past, encased in the beehive embellishments both regal and confining. Conversely, she is a figure in motion, determined to find her own way free of any constraints.
The graphic works, part of Sibande’s exhibition Long live the Dead Queen, play out a collection of fantasies and imagined narratives focusing on the character of Sophie, a maid. Each figure represents the different personalities of Sophie and each of the generations of women in Sibande’s family that were domestic workers.
About Sibande On Campus:
Rising young South African artist Mary Sibande constructs elaborate visual narratives to consider race, gender, and class in post-colonial South Africa. Rooted in her own family’s history of three generations of women as domestic servants, Sibande’s larger-than-life figures clothed in yards of fabric confront the viewer with the stark limits of cultural heritage as well as the possibility of transformation. Sibande’s Ann Arbor fellowship includes an original installation at the U-M Institute for the Humanities gallery, a Penny Stamps lecture, an open studio at the Stamps School on North Campus, and exhibition of Sibande’s existing work at Gallery DAAS, the U-M Museum of Art, and the Stamps School Slusser Gallery.