Spirits of the soil | Stedelijk Museum | Amsterdam | 2018

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The exhibition Spirits of the Soil opens with an introductory gallery presenting photo collages Van Haver made in 2017 during the Lagos Festival, followed by a sequence of four gallery spaces, each featuring a large, new painting. The exhibition reaches its apotheosis in a huge space in which the central painting is embedded in a spatial installation: We Don’t Sleep As We Parade All Through The Night, 2018. This colossal painting measuring 4 by 9 meters, deftly blends the imagery from all the previous galleries. Loosely modelled on Da Vinci’s The Last Supper, the composition portrays a group of people seated at a table spread with food and drinks. The central company around the table fans out into flanking scenes of people eating, drinking, and playing cards. The architecture of the painted neighborhood – informal and decidedly homespun – unfurls into a spatial installation with wooden partitions, steps and elevations.

"Eating and drinking is the main connecting factor in these communities. The meal is the moment when everyone comes together and exchanges news, and when the social order is established." — Raquel van Haver

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