Saturday, July 14, 2018

    from The New York Times:

The Cleveland Public Library houses an installation by Yinka Shonibare of books bound in batik-print textiles.                                                                                                                
                                                            photo credit: Andrew Spear for The New York Times

Shonibare, a British-Nigerian artist, is widely recognized for his sculptures and installations that incorporate kaleidoscopic batik-print textiles — copies of traditional Indonesian fabrics produced by the Dutch and marketed in West Africa. He called the material “a metaphor for my own hyphenated identity.” For his installation “The American Library,” a 48-foot-long bookshelf cutting across the former reading room at the public library, the artist has used his signature textiles to wrap more than 6,000 books. Each is stamped in gold leaf on the spine with the name of a first-, second- or third-generation immigrant to the United States who has been culturally significant to American society, like Steve Jobs whose father came from Syria. “America was built on the contributions of immigrants,” said Mr. Shonibare, who has mixed in names of those opposed to immigration including Donald Trump, whose mother came from Scotland and whose paternal grandparents were German.

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