At St John’s Gardens, adjacent to St George’s Hall, Nicholas Galanin presents ‘Threat Return’ (2023): a gathering of overturned, cast-bronze handwoven baskets, modified to resemble burglary masks.
St George’s Quarter, Liverpool L1
The seven bronze sculptures sit upon concrete plinths, referencing busts and monuments which surround the piece in St John’s Gardens and within the nearby galleries and museums, many of which celebrate men and families who made their wealth in shipping and merchant trade. Galanin references museum displays of Indigenous North American and African basketry and cinematic portrayals of thieves via ski-mask cut-outs incised into each basket, contemplating the commodification, reproduction, theft, and imitation of indigenous cultural traditions. The work is a reflection on what is considered to be theft, a meditation on the reflexivity of threat, and the return of energy as well as cultural property. Galanin insists on the persistence of Indigenous connection to land and culture which is embedded in bodies, memories, traditions, objects and languages.