Flowers for Africa: Rwanda, 2019

Basel 2019
Goodman Gallery
Support structure, protocol of assembly, and display including archival iconography to guide the reconstruction of a sculptural arrangement consisting of foliage
In her ongoing project, Flowers for Africa, Kapwani Kiwanga researches archival imagery relating to African independence, before consulting with florists to re-create flower arrangements found therein. Initially fresh, the flowers and foliage are left to run the course of their transient cycle and wilt and dry. In Kiwanga’s own words: ‘Just as the enthusiasm present during the period of independence has faded, pan-African dreams have been eclipsed by the everyday difficulties of the average African citizens.’ Rather like the process of storytelling, the past is momentarily brought back to life for consideration. Kiwanga is a Paris-based artist who excavates historical narratives, in order to consider the global impact of colonialism and how it permeates contemporary culture. Her work is research-driven, instigated by marginalized or forgotten histories, and articulated across a range of materials and mediums including sculpture, installation, photography, video, and performance.