though usually hidden to the human eye, naturally occurring marine biofluorescence can be seen under certain wavelengths of light (like ultraviolet) which causes the cells of the organisms seen here to absorb the light — and some of the photon’s energy — and then emit back a now less energetic light with a longer wavelength and thus a different colour.
biofluorescence is not be confused with bioluminescence (see posts), which is a chemical reaction endemic to an organisms that causes them to glow.
British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare MBE currently has a solo show at Philadelphia’s Barnes Foundation—the museum’s first contemporary commission in over 80 years.
In this feature about him in the WSJ, he talks about his upbringing in both Nigeria and England, as well as the incident that prompted him into exploring the symbolism of Holland-produced batik textile designs that have now become synonymous with ‘African fashion’.
The son of a Nigerian lawyer, Shonibare was born in London and raised both there and in Lagos. “I’m the elite in Nigeria,” he says. “Coming here, I didn’t feel any different. But there is a perception that if you’re of a totally different race, you’re possibly of a different class.” Still, his interests lay miles from the working-class consciousness of artists like Hirst and Emin; nor was he especially eager to contribute to the political-protest art prevalent among some black English artists at the time.
In art school, he happened on to a medium that focused his interests. Challenged by a teacher to produce a so-called “authentic African artwork,” Shonibare visited a market in London to study what he’d always assumed to be African textiles, only to learn that the batiks were actually European: Since the mid-19th century they had been mass-produced in Holland, initially for the Indonesian market, and exported to Africa. “I found that more interesting than being authentic,” he says. Their lush colors and patterns also offered Shonibare, known as something of a bon vivant, the opportunity to explore beauty and extravagance. “I didn’t see aesthetic pleasure as purely a domain of the white male,” he says. “I thought I could occupy that space while challenging it as well.”
Shonibare also talks about his recently launched Guests Project Africa initiative aimed at “promoting avant-garde African art forms, from visual art and fashion to music and spoken word.”
Rez Kid Studios
Cheyenne River Reservation, SD, USA
(c) dawnee lebeau photography
Quirky miniature porcelain sculptures made by Ukranian artists website Anya Stasenko and Slava Leontyev
ok well i need all of these
"For Women Who Are Difficult to Love" - written and performed by Warsan Shire.
You are a horse running alone
and he tries to tame you
compares you to an impossible highway
to a burning house
says you are blinding him
that he could never leave you
want anything but you
you dizzy him, you are unbearable
every woman before or after you
is doused in your name
you fill his mouth
his teeth ache with memory of taste
his body just a long shadow seeking yours
but you are always too intense
frightening in the way you want him
unashamed and sacrificial
he tells you that no man can live up to the one who
lives in your head
and you tried to change didn’t you?
closed your mouth more
tried to be softer
less volatile, less awake
but even when sleeping you could feel
him travelling away from you in his dreams
so what did you want to do love
split his head open?
you can’t make homes out of human beings
someone should have already told you that
and if he wants to leave
then let him leave
you are terrifying
and strange and beautiful
something not everyone knows how to love.
Director, Producer : Andrea Cortes-Juarbe & Christine Mehr
Editor: Christine Mehr
Co-Editor: Andrea Cortes-Juarbe
Special thanks - Lauren Stanton, Sara’o Bery, Ada Pinkston, Isa Nakazawa
Audio mashed by Christine Mehr
Instrumental track - Zoe Keating’s “Sun Will Set.”