Girafawaland is an exhibition where fact and fiction are constantly playing hide and seek. A surrealist, poetic, critical and tongue-in-cheek parable of colonialism, this exhibition explores with humour our relationship with the other and with nature.
It is in West Africa, and more precisely in the country that soon became known as Girafawaland, that the peaceful Girafawaras people lived in total symbiosis with nature and enjoyed a close and mysterious bond with the many giraffes that populated the area.
In 1912, two English aristocrats, Marmaduke Lovingstone and Douglas Pawlette, finally discovered the place after years of investigation. By bringing to light multiple representations of giraffes in paintings, sculptures and all sorts of ritual objects, Lord Lovingstone made the sensational discovery that the nomadic Girafawaras people had left traces of their presence all around the globe since the beginning of time... The collection and conservation of these priceless pieces is mostly the work of Emma Pawlette, the benefactress of the Lovingstone Foundation. The small collection of miraculously unearthed relics presented here are a final and very touching testament to one of the greatest museum and human mysteries of all time. Against a backdrop of culture shock and impossible love, their incredible adventures are told through the letters that Lovingstone sent to Emma Pawlette, left behind in England. But the wonder of discovery quickly gave way to hegemonic desires, exploitation and division until everything collapsed in a frenzy of destructive madness...
The exhibition Girafawaland, curated by artists Kiki and Albert Lemant, presents this extraordinary adventure. Aimed at children and adults, this exhibition where fact and fiction are easily confused poses the question of colonialism and the extinction of civilisation and species with poetry and humour.
An exhibition dossier created by artists Kiki and Albert Lemant
Painter, engraver and author-illustrator, Albert Lamant explores diverse techniques ranging from engraving and monotypes to watercolour to installations made out of papier mâché. He has produced numerous publications beautifully blending words and pictures for younger audiences. Partnering up with his wife Kiki, he organises exhibitions in France and all over the world.