For Art Basel Statements 2017, ChertLüdde exhibited a solo presentation by Zora Mann. The project, titled The Daughter of the Easter Egg, draws from Mann’s rich life experience – from the start of her modelling career to her latter period involving drugs and psychosis.
Zora Star Cahusac Mann was born in 1979 in Amersham, UK, to British parents who were born in Uganda and Kenya. She grew up between Europe, Africa and America – her parents were followers of the Rajneesh movement and led a constantly nomadic lifestyle. After relocating to Germany at 13 years old, Mann embarked on an international and prolific modelling career. After 11 years, she decided to abandon the fashion business and pursue art.
The presentation consists of four elements: a painting that entirely spans the walls, bean bag sculptures and a curtain which diagonally divides the stand. The fourth element is an autobiographical text published in book format. The painting, a fragmented portrait depicting a mandala made of eyes, hands and geometrical patterns, portrays a disturbingly overwhelming scenario which is visualized as a wall installation. Many references to her past emerge in the painting: African tribal art, intuitive forms and colourful ornaments. The curtain is made out of tiny plastic beads obtained from recycled flip-flops, depicting geometric shapes.
In 2005, Mann worked with conservationist Julie Church, who started a project to promote the recycling of flip flops, a frequent marine pollutant found alongside the coast of the Indian Ocean in Kenya. Today there are several artisans in Kenya working with this recycled material – an immense quantity and variety of flip-flops are collected, cleaned and cut into small beads. Zora Mann strings these beads into a mosaic-like curtain. Eye-shaped pillows are placed in the middle of the booth to allow people to sit down and immerse themselves into the installation. On each pillow is a copy of Mann’s autobiographical text, “The Daughter of the Easter Egg”, published in paperback format. The middle of the book includes a short text, while the rest of the pages are left blank. This book is deliberately left almost empty as it is the installation that offers the full imaginary scenario of the artist’s being.