For its reopening and its all-new design in October 2020, the gallery presented Kapwani Kiwanga’s third solo show, “Nations,” alongside the Marcel Duchamp Prize exhibition at the Centre Pompidou she won in 2020.
Initiated during a trip to Haiti in 2009, the Nations project extends Kapwani Kiwanga’s research into the relationship between spiritual belief and politics. Inspired by the syncretic nature of voodoo practices, Kiwanga embroidered banners in Haiti from fragments of European history paintings produced between 1840 and 1876. Illustrating episodes from the Haitian revolution, she assembled them with other textile pieces to create works which can be interpreted as flags as well as paintings.
Nations was realized with the support of Françoise Hazel and the precious collaboration of the Haitian craftsmen team of the Jean-Basptiste Jean Joseph workshop, who used these techniques of bead and sequin embroidery to realize some parts of the sculptural works.