Completing and complementing the Otolith Group’s 2013 exhibition, “The Year of the Quiet Sun”, this book highlights a turbulent period of political unrest and decolonisation in several African states, but uses the unlikely medium of postage stamps to portray it.
Dictated fully by the artists’ wishes to maintain the materials’ inherent integrity, the catalogue meticulously documents a huge amount of envelopes, where the stamps and inscriptions tell of fresh-faced nations with their futures ahead of them, finally rid of the shackles of colonialism.
Of course, much of the material has a bitter-sweet flavour, as many of these states soon descended into war, chaos and disorder, and some idealistic leaders turned into ruthless tyrants, but the air of hope and grand plans for the future remains, and forms an interesting topic for discussion, a spring-board for an exhibition and even the foundations of a big fat book like this.
Design: Blank blank
Artist: Otolith Group
Editors: Kodwo Eshun, Anjalika Sagar, Marin Clark and Steinar Sekkingstad
Size: 250 x 330mm
Publisher: Bergen Kunsthall in collaboration with Casco — Office For Art, Design And Theory (Utrecht)