Pascale Marthine Tayou has an installation planned for the exterior space of Portikus Frankfurt am Main. Around and on top of the exhibition hall, as well as on the nurses' home of the adjacent hospital, Pascale Marthine Tayou will have flagpoles erected with the flags of all 54 African nation-states. These flags, however, have been graphically redesigned by students of the Frankfurt Städelschule, the task being for them to remain legible as symbols for specific countries. The refashioning of the flags was therefore less about a free redesign, but rather aimed at a careful and subtle idealisation, an improvement according to creative and design-related aspects.

The exhibition hall itself will remain closed during the course of the exhibition. The word "Close" will stand written in large letters on wooden panels installed between the columns of Portikus. On the one hand, Tayou makes reference to the imminent closing of the exhibition hall's old location behind the classicistic portico, which has become necessary due to the planned reconstruction of the former municipal library. On the other hand, the artist examines in the ambiguity of this inscription the peculiarity of the representative façade. The viewer does come "close", but what lies behind remains "closed". The portico again becomes a merely blind wall standing freely and without relation to an overall architecture.

By putting up this large number of African national flags high above the gables of Portikus, the demonstration of power effected by a classicistic column architecture is magnified to absurdity. In addition, the façade and the place of the former municipal library - once expressing bourgeois self-understanding and the bourgeois conception of education - appears occupied or besieged by African states. In an idealised sense, the space surrounding Portikus turns into a temporary site of the "African Union".

Pascale Marthine Tayou (born 1967) lives and works between Yaoundé (Cameroon) - Paris - Gent ...

The exhibition is supported by the Kulturstiftung der Deutschen Bank as well as the Alfred Ritter GmbH & Co. KG.