Beautiful Installations Created With Ornate Gowns

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The work of South African artist  Mary Sibande is complex much like the identities it addresses.  Sibande creates life size sculptures, primarily of black women.  The sculptures are arrayed in large ornate dresses which, rather than shed light on the subject’s identity, complicate it.  The dresses seem to be a perfect blend of Victorian upper class and a maid’s uniform.  Sibande’s grand installations efficiently comment on gender, class, colonialism, and beauty.  To further underscore these issues, Sibande arranged for huge photographic murals of the installations to be displayed throughout Johannesburg.

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