19 Mar 2019 | Kapwani Kiwanga – Art Basel
“Paris-based, Canadian-born artist Kapwani Kiwanga’s monumental installation Flowers for Africa (Rwanda) draws you in first by its smell, before you’ve even turned the corner into the vast hall housing Unlimited.
The site-specific work, a monumental archway of minty-fresh eucalyptus, is part of an ongoing project by the young artist in which she reimages flower arrangements created by various African countries to celebrate their independence days. This iteration—the 13th and largest thus far of her works in the series—recreates the backdrop of the festivities for the country’s independence in 1962. Kiwanga’s gallery says she plans to complete all 54 African countries’ independence day floral displays.
Amid all the flashy colors and glittery surfaces of other works at Unlimited, this towering ephemeral sculpture, already wilting under the lights, is deeply powerful in its transience. For Rwanda, given the tragedy that overcame the country in the early 1990s, this feels particularly searing.”