Art

Berlin: Folakunle Oshun presents Museum of Hope

Berliner Dom. July 25–August 12

A horse rears, muscles rippling, and the rider is unseated, weapon falling from outstretched hands: from 25 July 2021, Berliner Dom will premiere Folakunle Oshun’s gravity-defying sculptural installation that captures in this moment suspended in time, all of humanity’s hope within a headlong fall from grace. Specific events before and after the sculpture is framed are immaterial.
Sublime and theatrical, the classical sculptural form captured in mid-air transforms how we perceive figurative sculptural compositions. The viewer is teleported to another dimension and time period–allowing space for imagination and the surreal. The composition, without specific cultural or historical reference, freezes time and opens up limitless frontiers for interpretation. Exploring the concepts of fragmentation and the collection of experiences within the framing of a “Museum”, the artists attempts to invert the dynamics of site specificity—in relation to how an object impacts a space.​Accompanied by a video and sound installation created within the Baroque architecture of the Berliner Dom, Museum of Hope evokes both the cathartic and the spiritual, speaking to myriad layers of narratives while unravelling the subject in view. The installation is re-imagined within the majestic rotunda of the historic the German cathedral (Berliner Dom) which was damaged during the Allied bombing in World War II, creating a backdrop that is draped in its history as a religious house in the center of Berlin—resonating with the vertiginous experience of terror, hope and healing which traverse the sculptural work.​A severe spinal injury in his teens and a reflection on brokenness, hope and understandings of faith, led the artist to create Museum of Hope. Oshun states, ‘Faith, whether within a religious context or elsewhere, requires some form of resoluteness and aspiration; hope on the other hand comes from a place of complete brokenness. In this work I am pointing to this shared human capacity to defy circumstances and rise from the impossible.’

Folakunle Oshun is an artist and curator from Lagos, Nigeria. His sculpture practice engages the relativity of forms and the mapping of orbits and unorthodox spaces. His most recent creation is a gravity-defying masterpiece titled Museum of Hope. The biographical sculpture installation which makes a temporary home at the historic Berliner Dom, depicts an embattled warrior struggling to keep balance on a rearing horse while reaching to retrieve a falling sword in the same motion. 
He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts with a major in Sculpture (2007) and a Master’s degree in Art History (2012) from the University of Lagos. In 2017, he founded the Lagos Biennial, a platform for critical dialogue and the development of contemporary art in Africa.
In 2017, he was selected as the winner and first recipient of the Curator in residence grant by the Potsdam City Council, Brandenburg, Germany (2017/2018). In 2020, Folakunle was invited to reflect on the modern and contemporary art collection of Pinakothek der Moderne, where he co-curated a group exhibition titled “LOOK AT THIS” along with Benhart Schwenk after a one year research period. More info: https://www.folakunleoshun.com/museum-of-hope

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