I only had one day in Sydney, but when I looked at the program for the Sydney Biennale I knew I had to include a flying visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art, which was one of the Biennale venues.
I had to see in person the work of El Anatsui a Ghanaian born artist who lives and works in Nigeria. I’ve long wanted to see these monumental works that look like textiles but are made of small scraps of metal wired together in large ‘patchwork’ forms.
Afor 2010, aluminium liquor bottle caps and copper wire.
A detail of Afor showing the wiring together of the flattened bottle caps.
Anonymous Creature 2009. El Anatsui says of this work “When I enter my studio I see huge bags of bottle caps. Because each little cap represents an entire bottle of liquor that was consumed, I think about the quantity of drinks that have been consumed in my little community, which is frightening. So consumerism is a part of what I am playing around with.”