Go to Africa Single-channel video installation,06’25", 2008

Go to Africa
Yen-Ying Huang

Yen-Ying Huang’s hyper-real images of coloured liquids congealing into the loose, viscous forms of continents against a sharp blue sky might look like the work of Photoshop. In fact, Huang made them by hurling paint into the air and photographing the splashes picked out against the azure. The only digital manipulation involved was to stitch individual frames together to form a smooth, continuous plane that glides across the surface onto which it is projected.

This fluid geography reminds us that our maps merely represent a frozen moment in the continuum, decisive perhaps for us, but in reality a fleeting arrangement in a process of constant change. The static intercontinental flights piecing the blue emphasize this effect, as well as the double meaning of the sea and sky: turning a familiar view on its head can reveal it in a crisp new light. By projecting the video directly onto the gallery walls so that it is distorted by architecture features, Huang reminds us of how our perspective in space and time shapes our view of the world.
 
The title ‘Go to Africa’ is partly a result of the images’ serendipity: a pattern of paint that happened to form an uncanny image of the continental landmass. It also hints at various themes in the narrative of global history, from humankind’s earliest roots in Africa to the current drive for investment in what might be the next big arena of economic boom. It also reverses the colonial connotations of ‘Out of Africa’ with the imperative to look for new meaning in new maps.

Other artworks

Last event

La friche la belle de mai
41 Rue Jobin
F-13003 Marseille
France