Sophie Douala – Follow the black rabbit
Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
June 06 – December 31, 2022
In this third edition of the graphic design series POST/NO/BILLS, we have invited designer Sophie Douala to fill the space surrounding the historical staircase with her recent works.
The presentation comprises immersive wall prints of her work, filling the arches of the corridor in the heart of the museum – the patterns finding a place literally in between the structures of the museum. Sophie Douala also showcases videos containing words evoking the mindfulness slogans currently popular on social media. A meditative mantra for our current reality.
As with many young creatives, these past years have affected Douala and her practice greatly. She is going through a self-proclaimed transition, evolution, a break in time, and a pause. She is in between. This tendency can be signalled among many of her peers. There is a whole generation that is lost and searching. Social media has recently been full of themes such as rest, pause, healing, care, looking for inspiration, self-rediscovery, and questions of origins. It’s often not about dualities such as positive or negative, but rather an introspection on the precarity and instability itself.
The visual and textual experiments in Douala’s work represent many of these reflections. In Follow the Black Rabbit she is inviting us to enter a dream world. Triggered by social shakedowns of the past two years – the struggle for civil rights and racial equality, financial and social insecurities, a health pandemic and the resulting debilitating lockdowns – she inverts the Alice in Wonderland myth giving it a political twist to reflect the real world. It is celebratory and melancholy at the same time.