Sailing with Nelson. Yinka Shonibare reaches Polish shores
Żeglując z Nelsonem. Yinka Shonibare przybija do polskich brzegów

Kamila Wielebska

O, wonder!
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That has such people in't!
- Miranda (William Shakespeare, The Tempest)

The quote I used as a motto is not just an excerpt from one of the most well known plays of the ‘master of Stratford’ living at the turn of the 16th and 17th century. It is, of course, also a double quote, as the words spoken by Miranda in the first scene of Act Five were used at the beginning of the 1930s as the title for Aldous Huxley’s prophetic and celebrated novel, whose plot begins at the ‘Central London Hatching and Conditioning Centre’.

Although both authors were Englishmen writing in English, we treat their works – as I have been taught at school – like Egyptian mummies and cave painting in Lascaux – as part of European heritage… That is, European and American. Or European-North-American? Western? Global? Cosmic? It seems that socio-political attempts at describing the world we live in are much less durable than literature. Yet, let us remember that these inheritors of culture are in global terms quite a small group of those who can read its codes and ciphers, who are well educated, and at present also with access to the Internet. It’s a group of the chosen ones who, following Prospero, the prince of Milan, would take onto a desert island water and food, and next to it, an iPad packed with e-books and mp3s.

Armed with a tablet filled with old and new classics, a smartphone and Kaddafi’s 24 carat gold-plated gun (1) (to be discussed below), we can begin a journey that will takes us from London, where Yinka Shonibare MBE, a British artist of Nigerian descent lives and works, to an encounter with his art. Knowledge of the classics will certainly prove useful when approaching this art full of quotes and references. Without this knowledge, it would be impossible to recognise which opera aria is performed in Addio del Passato (2011) by a Black actress playing the double role of a diva and Frances Nisbet, Nelson’s wife. Of course, it was explained in the materials released with the exhibition, yet the pleasure of reading about it is incomparable to the bliss of contemplating one’s own musical expertise. What we shall use as a means of transport in this journey is Admiral Nelson’s ship, constructed out of six thousand trees in the second half of the 18th century.

Yinka Shonibare MBE, Nelson's Ship in a Bottle, 2010, National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London
photo: Kamila Wielebska

Nelson's Ship in a Bottle is probably Yinka Shonibare’s most well known work. Made on a scale of 1:30 and placed in a gigantic bottle, the model of HMS Victory, the ship which took part in the triumphant (for the British) Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, was mounted on one of the four plinths at Trafalgar Square, surrounding the column erected to the memory of the admiral who died during the battle, and remained there from May 2010 till the end of January 2012. The work was a part of a long-term project called The Fourth Plinth. Shonibare was commissioned to produce a sculpture to be placed in this quintessential and symbolic place, unoccupied by an equestrian statue and temporarily given over to contemporary artists. The coloured fabric used for the making of sails of Nelson’s ship is Shonibare’s trademark. In 2004, after the exhibition Double Dutch at the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam, the artist was nominated for the Turner Prize.

The fabric, called Dutch wax printed cotton, is a particular kind of material used by immigrants (or by women immigrants, to be exact) who came from Africa to the former colonial centres such as Holland, Belgium, or Great Britain. In the streets of Brussels or London one may see this colourful and diversely patterned fabric usually in the form of dresses and turbans.

Yinka Shonibare, MBE, Fake Death Picture (The Death of Leonardo da Vinci in the Arms of Francis I - Francois-Guillaume Ménageot), 2011
Copyrights The Artist / Courtesy James Cohan Gallery, New York/Shanghai

Although it is associated with Africa and immigrants coming from there, the fabric actually originates in Indonesia, from where it was exported to Africa in the 19th century through Holland and cotton factories in Manchester. Up to this day, it can be bought in London, for example, where several years ago I purchased it at a market in Kingsland Road on the border of Islington and Hackney. Its present role in the creation of an original image with which African immigrants can identify, a role of a ‘proud symbol of postcolonial identity and cultural difference it has played since the mid-20th century’ is, therefore, quite paradoxical. As Anna Moszynska further explains is: ‘[…] its apparently "authentic" quality was in fact "constructed" by trading routes of the various colonial powers. Dressing his figures in eighteenth-century costumes made from this fabric, Shonibare draws attention to those who prospered most from these exchanges’ (2).

Dutch Wax features also at Yinka Shonibare’s solo show presented in December at the Gdańsk City Gallery (3). The opening (I am not sure whether intentionally or by sheer coincidence) took place on the night of St. Andrew’s, which in Poland is traditionally devoted to pouring wax and casting fortunes. Curated by Patrycja Ryłko, the exhibition consists of a series of large-scale, painting-like photographs displayed in broad decorated frames on blue painted walls, thus suggesting a museum display, of a video work, as well as one pedestal-free sculpture (4). The latter, featuring on the poster for the exhibition, surprises with its scale – much smaller than expected.

Yinka Shonibare, MBE, Fake Death Picture (The Death of Chatterton - Henry Wallis), 2011
Copyrights The Artist / Courtesy James Cohan Gallery, New York/Shanghai

Yet, before I focus on this piece, I would first like to discuss a 2011 series of photographs entitled Fake Death Pictures. The central figure in all the five compositions is a middle-aged man dressed in a white wig from the turn of the 19th century, a so-called habit with a short vest from the same period and culotte trousers worn with stockings and shoes with buckles. Both the outside as well as the inside part of the dress, as well as trousers (that is the equivalent of the present-day three-piece suit) are made – quite surprisingly – from the patterned Dutch Wax. From the curatorial statement one might learn that the figure in the pictures is (as inscribed on his coffin and read out at the funeral): ‘The Most Noble Lord Horatio Nelson, Viscount and Baron Nelson, of the Nile and of Burnham Thorpe in the County of Norfolk, Baron Nelson of the Nile and of Hilborough in the said County, Knight of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Vice Admiral of the White Squadron of the Fleet, Commander in Chief of his Majesty's Ships and Vessels in the Mediterranean, Duke of Bronté in the Kingdom of Sicily, Knight Grand Cross of the Sicilian Order of St Ferdinand and of Merit, Member of the Ottoman Order of the Crescent, Knight Grand Commander of the Order of St Joachim’ (5).

Is it really him? How can one recognise him? Special features: the lack of right arm that he lost (just like one eye) in a sea battles. Indeed, on closer inspection, the figure dressed in ‘African’ culotte and red stockings is missing his left arm. Nelson, however, had his right arm amputated, which is clear from the statue standing on the London column. Something, then, isn’t quite right here. Moreover, looking at these painting-like photographs produces a feeling of encountering images already seen before.

Yinka Shonibare, MBE, Fake Death Picture (The Suicide - Manet), 2011
Copyrights The Artist / Courtesy James Cohan Gallery, New York/Shanghai

Each Fake Death Picture refers to a particular work from the history of European painting, as indicated in the subtitles. Shonibare’s photographs are modelled on: The Death of Chatterton by Henry Wallis (1856), The Suicide by Manet (1877-81), The Death of St Francis by Bartolomé Carducho (1593), The Death of Leonardo da Vinci in the Arms of Francis I by François-Guillaume Ménageot (1781) and Satire on Romantic Suicide by Leonardo Alenzo y Nieto from the first half of the 19th century. Apart from this last, where the figure commits suicide by stabbing himself with a knife while levitating in a rather surrealist landscape, each of the images contains a dying or dead man on his deathbed. In two of them he is surrounded by other figures.

Shonibare’s five photographs refer to the history of painting (mainly of an academic nature, yet there is also a piece by the scandalous Manet) featuring a dying white man belonging – as is suggested by the wig and type of clothing – to the privileged upper class. Of course, in the traditional classifications of the arts, painting is the ‘queen’, although in the course of the previous century its death had been announced regularly. The dead or dying man is clothed in a fantastic ‘colonial’ variation of a suit whose exotic colours make paradoxically these images of death livelier . Additionally, a strange arrangement has been used producing (against the painterly originals!) an effect of horizontal rotation quite common in photography (easily spotted when any of the pictures is seen on a computer screen by flipping horizontally).

Yinka Shonibare, MBE, Fake Death Picture (The Death of St Francis - Bartolomé Carducho), 2011
Copyrights The Artist / Courtesy James Cohan Gallery, New York/Shanghai

A Diesel commercial with a slogan saying: ‘What if Africa Were the Ruling Centre of the World?’ (2001) is not very well known in Poland (6). Young, beautiful Africans (whose identity is suggested by the slogan) of both sexes, dressed in the advertised jeans, are placed in a richly decorated interior adorned with hunting trophies, resting on tables and having drinks that organise something closer to an erotically invested party more than an office routine. In a visible fragment of ‘The Daily African’ one can see two articles. The bigger, occupying almost the entire spread page, says that ‘European developing countries targeted by African tobacco industry’. On the side there is information on a party organised by an African company spending 550 thousand Afros (700 thousand USD) to celebrate the departure of 700 employees sacked due to ‘technological problems with implementing computer software’ (7) .

The eroticised picture can easily be related to a long tradition of schematic images of exotic Africa (or more broadly non-Europe) – a paradise for the white man who, in this tradition, subjected this paradise to his power. This visual play with associations is being juxtaposed with a brutal, yet elegantly served and absurd reality of European global exploitation, whose cynical disguise is suspended thanks to the simple reversal of meanings. The critical commentary (yet, probably still cynical in its very consumer context of selling trousers) is ironically linked with an eroticised atmosphere of the relations between masters and slaves transferred to the contemporary world of commercial advertisement and stylized photo shoots. The advertisement for Diesel clothing occupies two pages of the Beyond Desire exhibition catalogue, which I saw in 2005 in the Museum of Fashion in Antwerp.

Yinka Shonibare, MBE, Addio del Passato (still), 2011
Copyrights The Artist / Courtesy James Cohan Gallery, New York/Shanghai

As the curator Kaat Debo suggests, central to this exhibition was: ‘The exchange between African – more specifically, black – culture on the one hand and western and European culture on the other’ (8). According to Debo, the eponymous notion of desire is a topic that is rarely addressed in the discourse on cultural exchange or globalisation. In the context of phenomena and socio-political-economic changes within the humanities (and especially in Poland), the importance of dress and style is still wrongly ignored, or marginalised. Also in the colonial context. As Debo writes further on: ‘Inherent in all desire is a measure of fantasy, which guides our eye and forms or deforms our image of "the other". Here, fashion is a superb gauge. It is accessible, driven by unlimited fantasy, free from any form of politically correct thinking, decorative and superficial, yet, at the same time, deeply rooted in our cultural and social subconscious’ (9).

In the case of Shonibare’s work, the aspect of clothing is of import because, as has already been indicated, Dutch Wax fabric is one of the trademarks of his practice. Let me then pass on to the sculpture presented at the exhibition in Gdańsk, which contained a dress made from this fabric. Revolution Kid (fox girl) was made in 2012. Next to Dutch Wax it includes a dummy, fibreglass, leather, stuffed fox head, a BlackBerry, a 24-carat gold plated gun and a steel plate used as a basis. It is a human-animal hybrid that despite an erect pose and a fully human hand, contains a head from a different species.

Yinka Shonibare, MBE, Addio del Passato (still), 2011
Copyrights The Artist / Courtesy James Cohan Gallery, New York/Shanghai

Devoting several pages to the discussion of contemporary sculptural projects that use stuffed animals, Anna Moszynska starts by indicating the role the latter played in the 19th century as elements of Victorian homes: '[…] the practice of displaying a stuffed or “mounted” animal in its entirety, often in a domed glass case, was seen as part of the embellishment of the Victorian home, indicating man's control over the nature and the wide extent of his knowledge in the categorization of the natural world’ (10). However, the vixen does not play the part of a specimen locked behind the glass wall, but it is presented taking a dynamic step – in her contrapposto pose she seems to run in her suffragette shoes straight at those entering the gallery (behind her back there is a series of windows). With its arrangement with its weight resting on one of the legs, she seems to refer to the canon of Greek sculpture of the classic period, drawing from the best models of European heritage.

The first contact with this sculpture – liberated from the burden of the pedestal – comes with something close to the Freudian sense of the uncanny which never really leaves one for good. It is easiest to say perhaps that this sense of there being something indefinite, something fantastical in the field of vision, something whose dynamics make it somehow alive. It is as if a strange child was running towards us… Or one of the cyber-toys from Blade Runner. The impression is heightened by the expectation of its proportions suggested by the exhibition poster in which a huge vixen fills entire space. In contrast to the Renaissance version of contrapposto, where Michelangelo’s David getting ready to fight Goliath is (paradoxically) almost three times the size an actual shepherd could have had, Shonibare’s sculpture does not try to dominate the viewer with its monumentality. However, there is something in this tiny ‘lively’ body that provokes alarm and anxiety.

In her bent left hand, instead of David’s sling, the vixen is holding a BlackBerry smartphone. The other hand is pointing upwards, which suggests arms of figures shown in more dynamic arrangements (more mannerist or more baroque) such as figura serpentinata – including various versions of the rape of the Sabine women and the rape of Proserpine. In the context of Gdańsk, it is of course the trident and shell clutching figure of the Fountain of Neptune in front of the Artus Court designed by Abraham van den Blocke at the start of the 17th century. However, the vixen with raised arms brings to mind a different Mannerist masterpiece – Perseus with the head of Medusa made in the mid 16th century by the goldsmith Cellini.

Instead of the Medusa's head, the Fox girl raises (if Perseus is our point of reference, there is again a mirror image swapping right and left) a 24-carat gold plated gun. From the curatorial statement in the press release I learn that it is a replica of a gold pistol that belonged to Al-Kaddafi. The Libyan politician with almost authoritarian power, killed in 2011 when his long rule was abolished, started his career by becoming a leader of the revolution. On September 1, 1969 he organised a coup d’etat, removing the king Idris I. Almost half a century later, with the collaboration with NATO, his own regime was abolished, and Kaddafi killed while trying to escape. Kaddafi supported the fight against apartheid and, despite emphasising the Islamic nature of the state, he promoted equal rights for women. In the context of Africa, I also need to emphasise his long-term attempts at creating a federation of North African and Middle Eastern countries. In 2009 he was the president of the African Union, promoting the idea of Pan-Africanism. Nelson… Nelson Mandela called him a friend.

Yinka Shonibare, MBE, Revolution Kid (fox girl), 2012
Copyrights The Artist / Courtesy James Cohan Gallery, New York/Shanghai

So, unlike Perseus, who holds the sword in his right hand, the vixen is holding a gold pistol, instead of the cut off head of the Gorgon in the left hand – a smartphone. Or in reverse, if one uses a compositional key of hand arrangement and presses the option ‘flip horizontally’. Between the two – the face of the vixen. Quite an original motif in Shonibare’s work because his sculptures usually lack heads… I can refer here to a well-known work called Gallantry and Criminal Conversation made for Documenta 11 in 2002 curated by Okwui Enwezor, or Scramble for Africa from 2003, full of decapitated male figures. And many, many more. In a simple Freudian model, decapitation means castration. It is a commonplace that it is the head, and especially the face that tells us the most about the person we are dealing with.

Michel Pastoureau, a French historian of the Middle Ages and expert in Western symbols, devotes an entire subchapter of one of his books to the discussion of red-haired people (11). The medieval dislike of people of this hair colour takes its origin in three different kinds of heritage: Biblical, Graeco-Roman, and Germanic. Although the most notorious redheaded villain is Judas, the group includes all kinds of sinners and malefactors, traitors, transgressors and rebels, as well as fallen women and witches. Red is 'the colour of demons, foxes, hypocrisy, lies and betrayal'. Red hair is a distinguishing feature that sometimes 'spreads onto other categories of the excluded and the cursed: heretics, Jews, Muslims, Gipsies, cheaters, lepers, the handicapped, suicides, beggars, vagrants, paupers and all kinds of marginalised groups. Redness was in this case complemented by signs and marks on clothing, in red or yellow, that people from these social groups had to wear beginning in the 13th century in some cities and regions of Western Europe. Redness becomes from this time one of the most important iconographic signs of rejection and infamy' (12).

The only Biblical exception that proves the rule (as well as a prefiguration of Jesus who is also sometimes presented as a redhead) is the aforementioned David described in the Book of Samuel. Jesus is presented this way in the scene of arrest and kiss because – as Pastoureau suggests: 'It is the reversal of the system in order to heighten its “efficiency” with a simultaneous demonstration of the fact that extremes finally meet' (13). Over time, however, for some reason medieval symbolism needed a more distinct way of marking negative features, so Judas became left-handed, and 'the left hand is the hand of the enemies of Christ'. In the Middle Ages, pagans, Jews, Muslims, Satan, demons, hangmen, suicides and all kinds of malefactors, so to speak, are shown as left-handed. Yet, indeed: 'From that moment on, for decades, in Western iconography not all red-haired people are left-handed, but all or nearly all left-handers are red-haired' (14) .

Moreover, redheads – as the French historian suggests – because of the freckles-dapples on their skin – have something animalistic about them, which enhances their impurity 'because a red-haired person not only has the hair of a cunning fox and a promiscuous squirrel, but he is also covered with spots like the most cruel of animals: leopard, dragon or tiger […]' (15). A swift jump of a squirrel, this 'monkey of the woods', as a certain 14th-century German author described it, will move us several centuries forward to the more proximate era of postmodernism. Steve Baker, the author of a book about the postmodern animal, in a chapter titled Botched Taxidermy, juxtaposes the postmodern animal with ideas included in Edward Lucie-Smith’s Zoo: Animals in Art. According to the latter, an animal is 'comforting, exotic or amusing, but always visually attractive'. According to Baker, on the other hand (for whom Lucie-Smith’s vision is escapist): 'the look of the postmodern animal […] seems most likely to be that of a fractured, awkward, “wrong” or wronged thing, which it is hard not to read as a means of addressing what it is to be human now' (16).

Yinka Shonibare, MBE, Revolution Kid (fox girl), 2012
Copyrights The Artist / Courtesy James Cohan Gallery, New York/Shanghai

Next, Baker refers to Wendy Webster’s statement that 'fragmentation: is the most adequate notion describing the period from 1960s to the 1990s in the experience of people in the West'. Finally, he goes on to discuss the cult Cyborg Manifesto by Donna Harraway to quote her statement comparing the postmodern man to a salamander whose regeneration after an injury, such as losing a limb, may take the form of 'potent', but 'odd topographical productions' (17). Using the figure of an animal whose stuffed body part is used to create a human-like hybrid-machine posited in the context of postcolonial postmodernism, Shonibare seems to engage in a dialogue with very old (yet somehow still valid) European symbols, icons and stereotypical images, yet also to propose a diagnosis of the events taking place in the space of our screens. Perhaps he also attempts to foresee the future.

The gold plated gun (gold being in the white man’s culture the only kind of yellow with positive connotations) (18) seems more like a precious gadget than a weapon to be used in a fight. Perhaps, then, it is more about the very (alchemic) idea of change, efforts to change reality, to start a revolution. The latter, as one learns from Polish literature, always has its hands dirty. BlackBerry is a sign of being-in-the-world, being here and everywhere, participation without the help of official media, of being plugged in. Yet, it is also the phone used by the White House, the Congress of the United States, the army and the American Air Force, the governments of Canada, the Netherlands, German, Austria, the police, fire-fighters and city wardens in many European countries, as well as various businessmen of different status in the hierarchy of smaller and bigger corporations. Everything has at least two faces that circumstances may reverse completely. The gold gun pointed upwards: a warning shot in the air? A shot of honour or of joy? Starting shot? Who knows?

Alternative visions of what the world could look like if it were not 'the best of possible worlds' (as described by a certain German philosopher with a wig so huge that admiral Nelson decided it had to be from the previous 'season') always contain some elements of futuristic sentimentalism, or the need to find a lost paradise that is still to come. Afro-Futurism was discussed by Przemysław Strożek at a meeting on colonialism organised by the City Gallery which he took part in with Konrad Schiller several days after the exhibition opening (19). The words of Sun Ra spoken by him in Space is the Place filmed in 1974 reminded me of an excerpt from Hélène Cixous’s The Laugh of Medusa. The Algerian-born French philosopher, who writes 'as a woman and for women' stated: 'Here they are, returning, arriving over and again, because the unconscious is impregnable. They have wandered around in circles, confined to the narrow room in which they’ve been given a deadly brainwashing. You can incarcerate them, slow them down, get away with the old Apartheid routine, but for a time only. As soon as they begin to speak, at the same time as they’re taught their name, they can be taught that their territory is black: because you are Africa, you are black. Your continent is dark. Dark is dangerous. You can’t see anything in the dark, you’re afraid. Don’t move, you might fall. Most of all, don’t go into the forest. And so we have internalized this horror of the dark' (20).

Yinka Shonibare, MBE, Fake Death Picture (The Suicide - Leonardo Alenza), 2011
Copyrights The Artist / Courtesy James Cohan Gallery, New York/Shanghai

Personally, I am more in favour of a broader definition of colonialism. Taking into consideration the fact that throughout the centuries European culture had had as full citizens and as humans in general only white men from the privileged upper classes, heterosexual Christians who had money, access to education, political and economic rights, and a right to speak, the scope of their conquest is not limited to the lands on other continents. What is also convincing is a theory that classifies contemporary Poland as a colonised country (not only a coloniser, as we happen to envision it sometimes). It is not only about our over fifty-year-long dependence on the former Soviet Union, but also about the colonial-like exploitation that the country has been suffering after 1989.

Poland is a hybrid country which, despite its great ambitions to belong to the (still) privileged European countries, is in its socio-economic-political reality still a part of the Third World whose citizens are being paid with the weak Afro currency. If we do not understand it and fully grasp it (and our local politicians will continue to shock us with cheap fake copies of gold watches worn by their 'Western' equivalents), we shall not find our place and we shall not have any chance of reacting and improving this situation. The sad truth is that we should have taken to the streets way before Spain and Greece did.

In this context, Yinka Shonibare’s exhibition seems even more interesting in Polish reality. Its curator takes the viewers into a slightly overwhelming museum space, which is one of the spaces traditionally working as an arena of operation for the colonial powers, where art works that are produced, selected, purchased, singled out, described and contemplated by gentlemen play a very important role in the general socio-economic exchange taking place in the closed circle of the privileged. This potentially ambiguous situation needs to be borne in mind in a country like Poland, where echoes of debates that took place decades earlier reach us, like fashion trends from previous seasons, with significant delay, in limited, impoverished versions, or sometimes don’t reach us at all. Having daily access to the Internet, one may tend to forget this fact or choose not to see it.

In his work, Yinka Shonibare freely makes use of the models, canons and traditions of European art, transforming them into a surprising, colourful design, as strange and (perhaps paradoxically) exotic as Dutch Wax fabrics. Are these fabrics codified in any way, are there any rules for composition of patterns, the choice of colours, as well as rules for wearing the patterns in this way or other? Are there a limited number of them? Or perhaps on the contrary, they are created casually, offering an unfettered means of expression for the artist’s imagination? A friend with whom I viewed Shonibare’s work stated that there must be some rules. Perhaps. As long as I don’t know them, I would rather stay uncertain, for I like to entertain the thought that, 'There are more things in heaven and earth […], Than are dreamt of in your philosophy'. The artist seems to suggest that a child-like naivete may contain change-initiating power. Of course, whether we call it naivete depends mainly on our point of view. Dutch Wax is undergoing further complications and is combined with high quality gold-plated equipment and with a slightly neglected fox corpse, made infamous by history, yet somehow successful in its attempt to avoid being locked in a Victorian vitrine. Sun Ra’s words refer us to Cixous, and she, on the other hand, brings to mind one of the most well known fashion photographs by Helmut Newton. Sie kommen! (They’re coming!) is a triptych published in a November issue of Vogue Paris in 1981, pages 164 and 165:

(1) 'Goldgenie offers real golden versions of Apple devices – first of all – new iPads to wealthy tech lovers. For an iPad Air with a gilded case you have to pay 2300 USD. But if you would like to have a device like this and you have already bought a “normal” iPad, there is also the option to send your device to Goldgenie, where it wil be decorated with 24-carat gold. It is worth mentioning that the same company also gold-plates other devices, such as Apple, HTC and BlackBerry smartphones'. A translation of a Polish advertisement for Goldgenie.
(2) Anna Moszynska, Sculpture Now (London: 2013), pp. 186-187.
(3) The exhibition could be seen later in the Contemporary Museum in Wrocław.
(4) At the Gdańsk City Gallery there were shown captioned prints of copies of these paintings-originals.
(5) As can be read in Wikipedia.
(6) Diesel, What if Africa were the Ruling Centre of the World?, 2001. cf. Kaat Debo (ed.), Beyond Desire, ex. cat., ModeMuseum in Antwerp (Ghent: Ludion, 2005), pp. 60-61.
(7) Ibid.
(8) Kaat Debo, Beyond Desire: Introduction, in: Kaat Debo (ed.), op. cit., p. 21.
(9) Ibid.
(10) Anna Moszynska, op. cit., p. 110.
(11) Michel Pastoureau, Człowiek z rudymi włosami, [in:] Średniowieczna gra symboli, Warszawa 2006, p. 219-234. [A quotation from a chapter about red-haired people from a Polish translation of Michel Pastoreau's book Une histoire symbolique du Moyen Âge occidental (Paris: Seuil, La librairie du XXIe siècle, 2004)].
(12) Ibid., p. 219-222.
(13) Ibid., p. 223.
(14) Idid., p. 234.
(15) Ibid., p. 231.
(16) Steve Baker, The Postmodern Animal, London 2000, pp. 54-55.
(17) Ibid., p. 55.
(18) M. Pastoureau, op. cit., p. 230,
(19) The texts by both of them could be read in the catalogue accompanying the exhibition.
(20) Hélène Cixous, The Laugh of Medusa, in: The Routledge Language and Cultural Theory Reader, Lucy Burke, Tony Crowley, Alan Girvin (eds.) (London: 2000), pp. 161-173.

Proofreading: Robin Gill

This text was previously published in 'Obieg' magazine