29.06—06.10.2024
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Redecode II: La Dorada, 2018/2024

Joiri Minaya, US
Wallpaper, variable dimensions
Among other things, Joiri Minaya examines the construction and commercialisation of 'tropical' identity, especially its intersections with race and gender. She uses installations, photography, video and performance to show how neocolonialism continues to shape perceptions of the Caribbean and its inhabitants as exotic. Her work is an exercise in unlearning, decolonisation and the dispelling of imposed histories, cultures and ideas. In Redecode II: La Dorada, Joiri Minaya confronts us with the European colonial perspective of the 19th century. Her work is based on a wallpaper designed in 1848 by the oldest surviving French wallpaper firm Zuber et Cie which represents Europe in relation to the other continents from a colonial perspective. The original wallpaper design puts Europe in the centre, the only continent with stairs prominently in the foreground leading to a terrace overlooking the other continents. The architecture of the other continents is depicted only in the background. In the foreground, you can see a wild, tropical natural wealth, which accentuates the adventurous and feral look. Joiri Minaya manipulates the original design through the use of pixelation: the difference between foreground and background blurs and the continents become blended. This also ensures that the European desire for visibility and identification - and hence control - is interrupted. At the time, explorers and scientists were captivated by the accurate, botanical representation of plants and animals, especially for exotic fauna and flora in the colonies. By transforming the wallpaper design into pixels, Minaya transforms, subverts and recontextualises this scientific style of illustration. In doing so, she makes the association between visibility, control and exploitation and, through the pixels, reverses this to liberation. The artwork incorporates several QR codes that you can scan. They lead to texts, images and videos about (neo)colonialism and the artist's view on the matter. Redecode II: La Dorada questions (neo)colonialism, Europe's perception of the other continents – both in colonial times and today – and the association with paradise. It is high time Western countries take responsibility in the aftermath of the (neo)colonial era and address the consequences and problems of the After Paradise.

23 artists present inspiring work at unique locations at historical sites in Kortrijk

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