How My Grandfather Survived by Cedrick Tamasala, 2019

Basel 2019
How My Grandfather Survived by Cedrick Tamasala


gold plated 3d printed plastic
38.0 x 21.0 x 24.0 (cm)
15.0 x 8.3 x 9.4 (inch)
A big man and a small one: the big one wears a wise man’s long beard and gown as well as a long garment whose fabric falls in the flowing folds of anci- ent classical sculpture around his feet. He gazes at us with impassive serenity. Above his ears, his thick hair is massed in two little mounds, like a second pair of ears or little devil’s horns. In a pa- ternal gesture, he rests his left hand on the other man’s shoulder. Slightly bending his knees, his smaller compa- nion has brought his right hand to his chest as though to swear an oath. Their free hands hold a large open book. The smaller man seems to be drinking in the message of the scripture – “Blessed are the poor.” His eyes are closed, and his emotions agitate his entire body. His most striking feature is his outsize, contorted mouth. The two figures’ middle fingers touch gently and almost tenderly. Cedrick Tamasala has sculpted the story of his grandfather. A Belgian missionary rescued him from poverty and enabled him to get a European-style education. The grandfather became alienated from his native culture – which the clergyman actively helped to destroy.