‘Lions Replaced by Fat Cats’, as part of ‘It’s Raining Cats and Dogs’ Exhibition, National Art Gallery of Namibia

Description/Record of ‘Lions Replaced by Fat Cats’ that was part of ‘It’s Raining Cats and Dogs’ Exhibition at the National Art Gallery of Namibia, Windhoek, Namibia, 2018

Title: ‚Lions Replaced by Fat Cats‘
The title’s play on words suggests that previous kings of the animal and human kingdoms living in Namibia are being slaughtered and or replaced by wealthy powerful business men and politicians who are not acting in the best interest of their citizens and/or the natural environment.
Year of Production: 2018

Game 1 (Lions Replaced by Fat Cats)
Black vs White (Colonialism) Photo: Sascha-J. Bachmann

The installation consists of three chess games and chess game 1 game symbolises the past of Namibia. It represents the colonial times where the black population was exploited by the colonial powers and where segregated under apartheid.

Chess game 2 represents the current situation of Namibia. Here white chess pieces are replaced with black pieces so that two black teams oppose each other. The heads of the pawns are cut off and stuck onto the smaller pieces of the opposing team. This is a comment on the current corruption in the current political system and the exploitation of natural resources and people by people in power. The opposing pawns (mass population) is stuck in their starting positions while the old and new elite move about freely occupying the space around.

Game 2 of 'Lions Replaced by Fat Cats'
Black vs Black (Elite vs the mass population) Photo: Sascha-J. Bachmann
Game 2 'Lions Replaced by Fat Cats'
Black vs Black (Elite vs the mass population) Photo: Sascha-J. Bachmann

Chess game 3 is a comment on the future of Namibia. Here there are black, brown and white chess pieces on the board opposing each other. The viewer is challenged to create their own scenario. How will this new game where sides are not defined by colour, ethnic group or social standing be played? These pieces are also the only ones that are movable.
The artwork questions the role and function of the state and what is actually being delivered. It questions the current living standards of the major chunk of the Namibian population and the effort made by the state to protect the animal and plants kingdoms present in Namibia. It queries if one suit of fat cats has replaced another, if visionary lions have become materialistic fat kittens? Will the master predator human consume it all only to become extinct itself?

Game 3 'Lions Replaced by Fat Cats'
The Future? The only movable chess pieces Photo: Sascha-J. Bachmann