January 31, 2014

Kid-Size Art Installations By Benin's Own Beshac Gaba

La Mode en Miniature (2008) installation view, Stevenson

I just found images of these kid-related works I saw from the Frieze Art Fair in London last fall, by the Beninese artist Beshac Gaba.

Gaba often makes installations that take on the form of stores. His South African gallery, Stevenson, showed La Mode en Miniature (2008), a kids clothing store filled with outfits and mannequins Gaba commissioned in Cotonou. Only the clothes are all embroidered with violent, disturbing, or inflammatory terms: Kalachnikov, Zenophobie, Afraid, Obesite. OK, maybe they're more feelbad terms that one wouldn't want to think about in relation to a kid.


On a more upbeat note, my friend Tanya Bonakdar was showing Gaba's kid-sized conference table with the UN seal, surrounded by chairs decorated in different country's flags [above] I thought it was one he'd created for The Souvenir Palace, his installation at the 2010 Liverpool Biennial, which contained a multinational assortment of nationalistic items and products.

The Souvenir Palace, 2010 Liverpool Biennial, detail, via Barbara Cottrell

The Souvenir Palace was supposed to be an ongoing site of exchange, where visitors could bring and paint their own items to trade out for the things already in the shop. But when blogger Beverly Cottrell got there, she was told that "trading had stopped." Cottrell's photo also shows a conference table with an entirely different set of chairs. So I guess if you've missed out on the Frieze table, you shouldn't feel bad; there may be a small world of other versions to choose from.

Le Monde/La Mode en Miniature, Beshac Gaba, June 2013 [stevenson.info]

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