Colorful and exuberant wax prints are loved in West Africa and all over the continent. They have for long attracted attention outside the continent as well. Compiling over a hundred years of history, these prints are an iconological collection and archive, at the same time a communication media, an agent of feelings and emotions.
The exhibition seeks to unfold the coexisting images which survive within wax. WAXATLAS exhibition is inspired by the work of Aby Warburg and his Bildatlas Mnemosyne. As in the German art historian's work, the WAXATLAS combines pictures related to the cultural history of the fabric in panels. They depict how the interplay of Javanese batiks, African textiles, and European art transformed wax prints designs. These visual elements and themes have traveled through time and reappear in classical and new patterns produced until today.
WAXATLAS invites you to trace the diverse routes and stories that are written into these textiles.
Curation: Dandara Maia
Image: WAXATLAS, based on a waxprint from the Iwalewahaus collection. Dandara Maia.