In the installation Statecraft, the short century of decolonization, as formulated by Okwui Enwezor, is envisioned in the form of a political calendar assembled from the unlikely and anaesthetic medium of the postage stamp. These masscult artifacts, issued to commemorate the independence of African nation-states, from the centenary of the founding of the Republic of Liberia in 1947 to the founding of the Republic of South Sudan in 2011, are integrated into an elaborately designed display system that invites sustained attention to this often overlooked media. As a display system, Statecraft can be seen as an “Incomplete Timeline of Independence” whose unhistorical and unsystematic selection is entirely determined by the medium of the online digital auction through which the stamps were acquired. Statecraft reveals the “Independence” postage stamp as the convergence of three aesthetic projects: Pan-Africanist Pop-Art, Social Realist Prometheanism and hagiographic state portraiture. Designed and printed in factories in Holland, England and Switzerland, these transnational objects of prepaid currency participated in the civil disturbances unleashed during the founding of Independent states that persist into the legitimation crises of the present. Statecraft approaches the postage stamp less as a witness to history in the making than as an agent of political power. Its indifferent and egalitarian ability to serve power renders it a form of evil media which elevates the sovereignty of dictators and revolutionaries alike. Stamps, lightbox built from various material, LED panels. 45.5m – 50m long x 1m high
Shown as single length, or divided into a maximum four sections in one room.