A horse rears, muscles rippling, and the rider is unseated, weapon falling from outstretched hands: from 25 July 2021, Berliner Dom will premiere Folakunle Oshun’s gravity-defying sculptural installation that captures in this moment suspended in time, all of humanity’s hope within a headlong fall from grace. Specific events before and after the sculpture is framed are immaterial.
Sublime and theatrical, the classical sculptural form captured in mid-air transforms how we perceive figurative sculptural compositions. The viewer is teleported to another dimension and time period–allowing space for imagination and the surreal. The composition, without specific cultural or historical reference, freezes time and opens up limitless frontiers for interpretation. Exploring the concepts of fragmentation and the collection of experiences within the framing of a "Museum", the artists attempts to invert the dynamics of site specificity—in relation to how an object impacts a space
Accompanied by a video and sound installation created within the Baroque architecture of the Berliner Dom, Museum of Hope evokes both the cathartic and the spiritual, speaking to myriad layers of narratives while unravelling the subject in view. The installation is re-imagined within the majestic rotunda of the historic the German cathedral (Berliner Dom) which was damaged during the Allied bombing in World War II, creating a backdrop that is draped in its history as a religious house in the center of Berlin—resonating with the vertiginous experience of terror, hope and healing which traverse the sculptural work.
A severe spinal injury in his teens and a reflection on brokenness, hope and understandings of faith, lead the artist to create Museum of Hope. Oshun states, ‘Faith, whether within a religious context or elsewhere, requires some form of resoluteness and aspiration; hope on the other hand comes from a place of complete brokenness. In this work I am pointing to this shared human capacity to defy circumstances and rise from the impossible.'
Twenty One years of pain, thought, contemplation, rumination, and eventually, an art work which attempts to embody so many feelings and experiences. Inspired by a spinal injury to my neck while playing basketball in the year 2000 - diagnosed as Cerebrospinal Spondylosis, I have spent the better part of my consciousness contemplating how to best depict this event which almost had me paralyzed. With several years of living through the pain and also witnessing on a broader scale, the experiences of others-in a world constantly pushing us to the edge, I am deeply humbled to make my contributions and share my thoughts on brokenness, healing, and recovery. -F .O.