Continue playing

(Time remaining: )

Play from beginning

{{ currentTime | date:'mm:ss':'+0000' }} / {{ totalTime | date:'mm:ss':'+0000' }} {{cue.title}}
Add to WatchlistRemove from Watchlist
Add to watchlist
Remove from watchlist

Video unavailable

El Anatsui in "Change"

In his studio in Nigeria, artist El Anatsui oversees young studio assistants from the local community who work with him to create sculptures made from bottle caps, a found material from discarded liquor bottles that Anatsui began working with for the aesthetic properties of the caps, which also can allude to the role of international commerce in African history.

More information

Closed captionsAvailable in English, German, Romanian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian

Translate this video

Through the Art21 Translation Project, multilingual audiences from around the globe can contribute translations, making Art21 films more accessible worldwide.

Licensing

Interested in showing this film in an exhibition or public screening? To license this video please visit Licensing & Reproduction.

El Anatsui

El Anatsui’s sculptures are mutable in form, conceived to be so free and flexible that they can be shaped in any way and altered in appearance for each installation. Working with wood, clay, metal, and—most recently—the discarded metal caps of liquor bottles, Anatsui breaks with sculpture’s traditional adherence to forms of fixed shape while visually referencing the history of abstraction in African and European art. The colorful and densely patterned fields of the works assembled from discarded liquor-bottle caps also trace a broader story of colonial and postcolonial economic and cultural exchange in Africa, told in the history of cast-off materials. The sculptures in wood and ceramics introduce ideas about the function of objects (their destruction, transformation, and regeneration) in everyday life, and the role of language in deciphering visual symbols.

El Anatsui

4:06
Add to watchlist

El Anatsui

4:23
Add to watchlist

El Anatsui

4:39
Add to watchlist

El Anatsui

More from "Change"

17:41
Add to watchlist
17:16
Add to watchlist
0:00
Add to watchlist