Pascale Marthine Tayou: Boomerang

I make art because I think about the world; I ask myself who we are, what it is we do, and what consequences that has for humanity. That is BOOMERANG. We are all boomerangs.

Pascale Marthine Tayou

Rainbow colours cascade and burrow from ceiling to floor in the latest exhibition at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery. Pascale Marthine Tayou’s latest show Boomerang sees fantastical creatures safeguarding wall hung works and quirky ceramic pots towering opposite hand scribbled wall writings. As an exhibition bursting with curious cultural vibrancy, Tayou’s practice demonstrates ecological and economical concerns juxtaposed with a display of magical, visual gems.

Before entering the slickly designed Sackler wing of the Serpentine, a spectrum of colours can be seen through the columned doorway of the gallery. An invasion of space has erupted; multi-coloured straws are knotted in a whimsical mass above visitors’ heads, plastic bags float and balance on tree branches, while piles of cubed rocks mimic Rubik’s Cubes mismatched sides. Though it is a delight for the eyes, Boomerang holds a heavier message than that of simply a playful, interactive display of art.


Working between his native Cameroon and his Belgium-base, Tayou is interested in the effects contemporary life and culture has upon our natural environment. He uses manmade objects like plastic bags and tangled petrol pumps as a way to stress and bring attention to the way human living, mass consumption and globalisation forces unnatural change upon the world’s landscape. The handwritten scribbles are revealed as informative statistics of the earth’s most polluted places, the fluffy cotton cloud installation exposes the social history of slave labour in colonial Europe, and the hanging diamond frames are representative of the damaging effect the diamond trade has in many African countries.

By uniting the troubling griefs of the world with visually aesthetic displays of enchanting and mysterious art, Tayou is introducing an alternate world. What we might consider ordinary and everyday, Tayou transforms into magical trinkets of charm and vibrancy. Boomerang is on display at Serpentine Sackler Gallery until Sunday 17 May 2015, open Tuesday to Sunday, 10am – 6pm. Visit this exhibition for a commute into the obscure and wonderful, with a depth of educational value thrown in too!



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