Victor Sonna. 1525
Victor Sonna. 1525

Victor Sonna. 1525

Irma van Bommel; "Victor Sonna's art makes you think about racism, discrimination and decolonial thinking"

This publication is published on the occassion of the exhibition Victor Sonna. 1525. Irma van Bommel, Brabant Cultural, 2/26/2021;The impressive exhibition "1525" by the Eindhoven visual artist Victor Sonna can be seen in the Van Abbemuseum until May 30. A major project about the slavery history of the Netherlands. Now there is also a book with the same title. With a retrospective of the art project, an interview with the artist and a study by curator Steven ten Thije into the origins of racism and discrimination. Often a book appears as a catalog at the start of an exhibition. Victor Sonna's book 1525 appeared after the opening. This has the advantage that photos of the exhibition could also be included. This makes the book a beautiful document of a special project. Brabant Cultural has previously paid extensive attention to the exhibition and to the way in which the Cameroonian born Victor Sonna (1977) ended up in the past of slavery. The cover of 1525 is neither white nor black, but gray. The pages in the book usually contain a gray background, but sometimes also a black or white background. That can not be a coincidence. The cover also feels rough, like fine sandpaper. The design of the book, by Bardhi Haliti, supports the content: here, cultures of white people and enslaved black people come together. And that is chafing. On the cover is the number 152, referring to the number engraved in a set of handcuffs that gave rise to a major research and art project by Victor Sonna.


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Victor Sonna. 1525 Victor Sonna. 1525

Victor Sonna. 1525

Exhibition Van Abbemuseum, 18-07-2020, 30-05-2021. - Catalog accompanying the exhibition of the Cameroonian artists Victor Sonna. In 2015, Victor Sonna in New Orleans bought chains from an enslaved one. The number 152 was engraved on these chains. The purchase is the starting point of a personal voyage of discovery along Ghana and Suriname, among others. The result is one hundred and two fifty unique works of art & ndash; the series 152 - six films and two fifty prints in which Victor deals with the theme of slavery in his own unique way. The exhibition title is a game with the number 152. Only a five is added. 1525: the year of one of the first transports of enslaved people in transatlantic slavery. Victor Sonna: & ldquo; I don't work with a preconceived plan. I had not foreseen that a purchase would lead to this trip. That's how it often goes with me; one flows from the other. I dive in and experience it. & Rdquo; For his series 152 Sonna collected 152 European gobelins, tapestries, made between the 18th and 20th century. He incorporated these tapestries into three series of works: Bleach and Dust, Sugar and Rubber and Maps. The works combine materials that he collected in trips to the Netherlands, Ghana and Suriname. Such as Ghanaian fabrics, African sculptures and objects related to slavery. The exhibition also shows six films and the series Prints: fifty two screen-printed windows with historical images about slavery. The films were made during the trips to Ghana and Suriname and explore the theme of the series 152 in a poetic and sometimes surrealistic way. Prints and films are shown in and around the installation. In a spectacular installation 25 meters high, 152 works can be seen that can be admired from both sides. As Victor himself says: "You can always look at a story from more than one angle." The design refers to the tower of Babel; the origin story about the disintegration of humanity into different peoples. Victor Sonna (1977) was born in Yaound & eacute ;, Cameroon and migrated to the Netherlands at a young age. He studied at the Design Academy in Eindhoven and then switched to the St. Joost Academy. He was trained as a visual artist. He continued to live in Eindhoven all these years. Sonna makes extensive use of existing material for his work, such as bullet casings, metal sculptures, tapestries and transforms them into impressive works of art. His work is in international collections and shown internationally

Author(s) Victor Sonna, Charles Esche, Steven ten Thije
Publisher Van Abbemuseum 2020
Details 242 p. Color photos
ISBN 9789082902938
Language Dutch and English
Article no. 1624


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