Yinka Shonibare MBE (RA)

Tous, des sang-mêlés (All, mixed-bloods)

Musée d’art contemporain du Val-de-Marne, Museum MAC VAL

Group Show: From 22nd April to 3rd September, 2017. Opening on Friday 21 April 2017, 6:30pm 

The Val-de-Marne Contemporary Art Museum is happy to present a group show entitled “Tous, des sang-mêlés” (“All, mixed-bloods”) around the universal and burning issue of cultural identity. This original proposal echoes previous curatorial projects conducted by the MAC VAL over the last few years. 

In tune with the current world affairs, this exhibition explores the notion of cultural identity through various artistic visions and experiences: what is our common denominator? How do we build a shared culture in spite of more and more diverse/opposite origins? Those are some of the current global issues. Under the co-patronage of French historian Lucien Febvre and his book We are all mixed-bloods: a manual on the history of the French civilization (1950), and that of Stuart Hall, founding father of Cultural Studies, this exhibition highlights the fictional dimension of the concept of cultural identity. Our curators have build an exhibition around different proposals that raise questions and shed light on what relates and sets us apart, on transfer of knowledge and future, on power and resistance, on individuals and communities… 

Through the voice of about sixty international artists and around one hundred artworks, the exhibition investigates the topics of cultural, national and sexual identities. They all revolve around the notion of being, yet some are obvious, others bring up –often passionate, always political- debates, and others call up memories of the past, sensitivity, experiences, and existence itself, from survival instinct to the notion of living together. 

The works gathered in this exhibition tackle these topics from a real-life standpoint in a spirit of exchange and dialogue. If cultural identity is a fiction, artists have different ways to interpret, investigate and question it…while taking distance with the –all too reductive- identity perspective. How do we shape ourselves in regard to our tongue, territory, family, History, story, and stereotypes? 

The exhibition proposes several elements to establish a common ground on which alterities could develop together and in regard to one another. 

Through the story, sensitivity, words and commitment of artists from all horizons, ages and nationalities, each visitor can grow his own understanding of the notion of “Identity”. Set up in the very heart of the exhibition, “De quoi j’me mêle?” offers a space of encounters, debates, reading and relaxation all throughout the duration of the show. Its goal is to take time to think together or individually about the issues raised by the exhibition and the reality of today’s world. Singular voices will speak up to share opinions as well as personal and collective experiences. 

Yinka Shonibare will be exhibiting End of Empire, 2016

Curated by Julie Crenn and Frank Lamy, Assisted by Julien Blanpied and Ninon Duhamel.




End of Empire, 2016
End of Empire, 2016
©2018. All images are property of Yinka Shonibare MBE (RA).