“… WHEN I CREATE WORK… IT IS IN MY VIEW A METAPHOR REFLECTING AN ALTERNATIVE RESPONSE TO EXAMINE … POSSIBILITIES AND EXTEND THE BOUNDARIES IN ART. … MY WORK CAN REPRESENT LINKS IN THE EVOLVING NARRATIVE OF MEMORY AND IDENTITY.”

 

“THE LINK BETWEEN AFRICA, EUROPE, AND AMERICA IS VERY MUCH PART OF WHAT IS BEHIND MY WORK WITH BOTTLE CAPS”

 

“…I HAVE EXPERIMENTED WITH QUITE A FEW MATERIALS. I ALSO WORK WITH MATERIAL THAT HAS WITNESSED AND ENCOUNTERED A LOT OF TOUCH AND HUMAN USE… AND THESE KINDS OF MATERIAL AND WORK HAVE MORE CHARGE THAN MATERIAL/WORK THAT I HAD DONE WITH MACHINES.”

 

“ART GROWS OUT OF EACH PARTICULAR SITUATION, AND I BELIEVE THAT ARTISTS ARE BETTER OFF WORKING WITH WHATEVER THEIR ENVIRONMENT THROWS UP. – EL ANATSUI, 2003.”

 

“…SEVERAL OF THE WORDS THAT I USE HAVE SUCH A RANGE OF MEANING. I DON’T WANT THE LANGUAGE TO INFORM. BY GIVING IT A CONTEXT, YOU LIMIT ITS ABILITY TO STRETCH. I WANT IT TO REMAIN CONTEXLESS SO THAT IT LEADS YOU ANYWHERE.”
—El Anatsui on the role of language in his work, as featured in an episode from the ART21 “Exclusive” series