“Reconnecting Africa”- Marcel Pinas
Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
On Thursday November 16th at the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam, the installation “Reconnecting Africa” by famous Surinamese artist Marcel Pinas will be unveiled. This permanent installation was created especially for the Tropenmuseum and is an extension of the new permanent Africa exhibit in the museum. The installation is an artistic representation of the ties between the continents of Africa and America. Besides referring to the historical relations between these continents, the installation also literally forms the transition between the museum’s Africa exhibit and the exhibit of Suriname and the Antilles.
Himself a member of the N’dyuka maroon tribe Marcel Pinas is a direct descendent of those who escaped slavery and resumed their lives based upon their African heritage in the jungle of Suriname. Raising consciousness with regards to the preservation of the traditions of his culture is a constant effort of Marcel Pinas. He uses patterns, objects and materials of his N’dyuka or Aucaner heritage and incorporates those within his art to create his own unique masterpieces. He uses among other things, characteristic maroon woodcarvings, oil lamps or the secret Afaka script, to tell his story. The main theme in all the artwork from Marcel Pinas is “Kibri a Kulturu” meaning, preserve and protect the culture. It is because of his cultural and artistic background that Marcel Pinas was commissioned by the management of the Tropenmuseum to create this permanent installation for their museum.
In his art installation “Reconnecting Africa” Marcel Pinas refers to the traumatic journey on board the slave ships and surprises the viewer with an enormous cabinet filled with objects out of the museum collection, daily implements and his own artistic productions.
It not only represents his vision of living cultural heritage but also reflects upon the colonial background of the “Tropenmuseum”. The installation is completed by a totem pole which gives tribute to the connection with the African ancestors and hereby completes the circle with Africa.
Visual artist Marcel Pinas (district of Marowijne, Suriname, 1971) lives and works in Paramaribo. His education was completed in Suriname as well as at the Edna Manley College in Jamaica. He has had exhibits in The Caribbean as well as in Europe and his art has been purchased by art collectors in the USA as well. He has won prizes in Germany and in the Netherlands. Starting in January of 2007 Marcel Pinas will be artist in residence at the Rijksacademie in Amsterdam for a period of two years.
Together with the reopening of the Africa exhibit on November 16th , the Pinas Installation “Reconnecting Africa” will be unveiled. On this occasion compiler Vincent Vlasblom will also present the catalogue “Kibri a Kulturu”, a beautifully illustrated summary of the work of Marcel Pinas’ up until now.
This catalogue is also available at the Readytex Art Gallery.