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Yinka Shonibare: Alien Obsessives; Mum Dad & the Kids

Solo show at Norwich Gallery, Tablet, at Tabernacle. 1998
Date: 26 November, 1998 until 18 December, 1998
Organiser: Norwich Gallery/Tablet at Tabernacle, London

Norwich Gallery, 26 November to 18 December 1998. Important exhibition of work by Yinka Shonibare. The exhibition was a collaboration between Norwich Gallery and the Tablet at Tabernacle, London. Titled Yinka Shonibare: Alien Obsessives; Mum Dad & the Kids, the exhibition featured nuclear families of ‘aliens’, covered in the by now familiar cloth of faux African fabric with which Shonibare had become identified. The exhibition generated an Artist’s Book, Yinka Shinibare: Alien Obsessive, a “low-tech publication featur[ing] stories, photographs and drawings of encounters with Aliens, UFO sightings and Alien abductions, received through classified ads placed by the artist in UFO magazine, Fotean Time.”

The exhibition was publicised with an A3 folded mini poster, which additionally included opening view information, and a summary of the exhibition. Extract as follows:

“Alien Obsessive; Mum Dad and the Kids is a project in which Yinka Shonibare worked with a puppet maker to transform the archetypal image of convention; the nuclear family, into Aliens. The installation consists of two families each with their two children. The image of Aliens as conventional families is a playful look at the paradox of difference. We almost always project human characteristics onto Aliens, maybe real difference cannot possibly exist. The Aliens are made out of African batik fabric, fabrics the artist has used constantly to explore the complexity and hybridity of identity in a multi-cultural society. Alien Obsessive; Mum Dad and the Kids is a humorous look at the mythology of difference and our fear and fascination with other worlds from Homer onwards. The Aliens are based on a popular image of Aliens with small bodies, big heads and big eyes as in Spielberg’s ET and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.”

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»  Yinka Shonibare: Alien Obsessives; Mum Dad & the Kids

Poster relating to an exhibition, 1998

Exhibition venues

»  Norwich Gallery

Norwich, United Kingdom

»  Tablet, at Tabernacle

London, United Kingdom