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Images & Text © 2017 Michael Forbes - All rights reserved.

12 Stations of the  Masquerade 2018
12 Station of the Masquerade 2018 - Final presentation 14 plinths arranged in a circle with one in the centre  
Mixed media: including expanding foam, OSB board, razor wire, African carvings, handbags and baseball cap.
12 Station of the Masquerade - Final presentation 14 plinths arranged in a circle with one in the centre  
2018 Mixed media: including expanding foam, OSB board, razor wire, African carvings, handbags and baseball cap.
12 Station of the Masquerade 2018 - Final presentation 14 plinths arranged in a circle with one in the centre  
Mixed media: including expanding foam, OSB board, razor wire, African carvings, handbags and baseball cap.

12 Stations of the Masquerade and The Masquerade

12 Stations of the Masquerade and The Masquerade explores today’s crucial socio-political issues, with a particular focus on power, class, migration, national and international racial politics fed by the impact of history and religion. Forbes is intrigued by China’s exports of counterfeit designer goods, sold by African migrants on the streets of Europe for their financial survival.

The counterfeit designer handbags market relates to broader historical events, such as the increased presence of China in Africa, coupled with China’s domination of the World trade and manufacturing.

Issues of poverty and conflict in Africa have contributed to the increase of mass migration to other parts of the world, including Europe. Globally, nations are protected their borders from new arrivals, by whatever mean necessary.

Unfortunately, the option to get to Europe has caused unprecedented numbers of deaths crossing the Mediterranean over the last 30 years – although Forbes work does not directly address the point above, they are part of the wider conversation.

In the work Forbes comments on processes of valuation, referring to the act of collecting undertaken by the artist through extensive travel around the UK and Europe to source objects staged in the work - the work demonstrates globalisation in relation to migration and trade.

Forbes is interested in the narratives that arise through the act of bringing the geographical, social and economic link of the sourced objects together.


As, a traveler Forbes has noticed the importance and impact of religion has had on a range of citizens globally and how religion has been used to manipulate people into subjugation and exploitation historically, which has an impact today.

He is also resistant to an overly didactic approach to the work, focusing to a large degree on the aesthetic qualities and materiality of the work.

12 Station of the Masquerade 2018 - Final presentation 14 plinths arranged in a circle with one in the centre  
Mixed media: including expanding foam, OSB board, razor wire, African carvings, handbags and baseball cap.
12 Station of the Masquerade 2018 - Final presentation 14 plinths arranged in a circle with one in the centre  
Mixed media: including expanding foam, OSB board, razor wire, African carvings, handbags and baseball cap.
12 Station of the Masquerade 2018 - detail 
12 Station of the Masquerade 2018 - detail