Ini Archibong grew up in California and is now based in Switzerland. In 2016, he began collaborating with skilled glassblowers there to make monumental chandeliers.

Archibong’s chandelier Dark Vernus I (meaning Dark Spring), is a suspended gathering of vessel-like forms with a powerful spiritual presence. It hangs in the Vestibule, a small space with a complex function.

Allowing passage between the Great Dining Room and Sculpture Gallery, the Vestibule also houses a musicians’ gallery, which Archibong has brought back to life with his own custom-composed sound piece.

This vestibule also displays two nineteenth-century bronze busts of an African man and woman, by the French artist Charles-Henri Cordier. The depictions are arrestingly beautiful, but also exoticised. Archibong chose not to address these problematic representations directly, instead, his work literally rises above them.

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Image of Ini Archibong and Dark Vernus, courtesy of Friedman Benda and Ini Archibong, photography by Daniel Kukla

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