“The Sun will Never set on the British Empire – The Beast Awakens”
by Andrew Gilbert
Opening with the artist:
Saturday March 4th, 5-8 pm
March 4th – April 8th, 2017
Ten Haaf Projects is pleased to announce: “The Sun will Never set on the British Empire – The Beast Awakens”, an exhibition by Andrew Gilbert.
"Like the Sun made of Cabbage - All Empires decay and rot" Holy Brocoli, 1842. As the vile beast of nationalism awakens across Europe, as drone strikes slaughter exotic natives in the way the Gatling gun did in the 19th Century, so Andrew Gilbert presents his fourth solo exhibition at Ten Haaf Projects in Amsterdam.
In “The Sun will Never set on the British Empire - The Beast Awakens”, the Western propaganda narrative is impaled like a British soldier at Isandlwana. From Lord Kitchener, British national hero and inventor of the concentration camp in South Africa, to Henry Kissinger, Nobel Peace Prize winner as a hot dog going to hell, Gilbert depicts (in watercolour and fine liner on paper) historical events with an all too relevant role in today's climate of xenophobia and continuing Colonial Occupations. As in the 19th century, those who resist Imperial invasion are labelled barbaric and savage.
In the form of a yellow bird in British red uniform, his spiritual protector the Holy Brocoli or Supreme Dictator / Messiah Emperor Andrew, Gilbert frequently appears in these historical landscapes as a silent witness or active protagonist. Through this technique, past events (often forgotten in the Western historical narrative) are revisited and combined with contemporary events and symbols of today's cultures.
Alongside drawings, Gilbert exhibits a monument or sculptural tribute to the ‘Special Relationship’ between the old and the new Colonial Masters: Great Britain and the United States of America. Other smaller sculptures represent the on-going theme in Gilbert's work of European Fetish and Primitive object obsessed Western Culture. Somewhere between an Ethnographic Museum and a private Military Museum lies the imagined context in which Gilbert's work exists.
Born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1980, Andrew Gilbert is included in the current exhibition “Artist and Empire” at the National Gallery of Singapore. Recent group exhibitions include “European Tribal Wars” at the Bavarian Army Museum and “Artist and Empire” at Tate Britain, London. Recent solo exhibitions include “Trophies of the Savages - Idols of Civilisation” at Blank Projects, Cape Town, “Shaka Zulu - The Musical” at Sperling, Munich and “Ulundi is Jerusalem, Andrew is Emperor, Brocoli is Holy” at the Overbeck Gesellschaft Lübeck. Text provided by Holy Brocoli, official biographer and masseuse of Emperor Andrew, Afghanistan 1842.
Ten Haaf Projects gallery is still under construction. This exhibition will be held at Geldersekade 58, Amsterdam, a location kindly lent by Galerie Vriend van Bavink.