A 7-metre-long textile work by Malian artist Artist Abdoulaye KonatÃ© that explores the relationship in Africa between power and religion -- the position of Christianity and Islam within political and cultural life -- will be displayed to the public at large from the window of London's Rivington Place (pictured).
The work will be on show from 7 December 2011 until 3 January 2012 as the Institute of International Visual Arts fifth annual window commission.
The piece was specially commissioned for the vast window space of Rivington Place, the RIBA award-winning London art gallery dedicated to the display, debate and reflection of global diversity issues in the contemporary visual arts. the art work will be visible from the street.
Born in DirÃ©, Mali in 1953, KonatÃ© lives and works in the country's capital, Bamako. Having trained as a painter, he now works with Malian cotton creating textiles and canvases in response to a lack of availability of other materials.
In this new work he takes the striking plumage of the guinea fowl as his starting point, drawing upon its significance south of the Sahara where it appears in tales, legends, theatre and literature.
Here KonatÃ© is reflecting on Malian writer Massa Makan DiabatÃ©'s comment that the guinea fowl spreads out its colours over its plumage and man keeps them in his heart' (from The Hairdresser of Kouta). KonatÃ© sees this akin to the ambiguous position heads of governments take with respect to religion.
In 2008 KonatÃ© was nominated for the Artes Mundi Prize. Other recent exhibitions include Documenta 12, 2007 and Africa Remix, Contemporary Art of a Continent in 2005 at the Hayward Gallery, London.
"Iniva at Rivington Place" e-flux December 2, 2011
"Abdoulaye KonatÃ©: Window Commission 2011" iniva December 2, 2011
"Artist Abdoulaye KonatÃ© merges political commentary and traditional craftsmanship in Iniva's fifth annual window commission" Rivington Place December 2, 2011
Reproduced with permission from Islam Today