Wangechi Mutu

Saatchi Gallery Exhibit of Wangechi Mutu:  “Piecing together magazine imagery with painted surfaces and found materials, Mutu’s collages explore the split nature of cultural identity, referencing colonial history, fashion and contemporary African politics…”

Wangechi Mutu observes: “Females carry the marks, language and nuances of their culture more than the male. Anything that is desired or despised is always placed on the female body.” Piecing together magazine imagery with painted surfaces and found materials, Mutu’s collages explore the split nature of cultural identity, referencing colonial history, fashion and contemporary African politics. In Adult Female Sexual Organs, Mutu uses a Victorian medical diagram as a base: an archetype of biased anthropology and sexual repression. The head is a caricatured mask – made of packing tape, its material makes reference to bandages, migration, and cheap ‘quick-fix’ solutions. Mutu portrays the inner and outer ideals of self with physical attributes clipped from lifestyle magazines: the woman’s face being a racial distortion, her mind occupied by a prototypical white model. Drawing from the aesthetics of traditional African crafts, Mutu engages in her own form of story telling; her works document the contemporary myth-making of endangered cultural heritage.http:// http://www.akrylic.com/contemporary_art_article73.htm
Photo collage & montage
Wangechi Mutu
Adult Female Sexual Organs 2005
packing tape, fur, collage on found medical illustration paper
46 x 31cm

Wangechi Mutu
Uterine Catarrh 2004
Glitter, ink, collage on found medical illustration paper
46 x 31cm
“There’s this constant movement towards historicising Africa, turning it into this archaic place.” Wangechi Mutu explains, “… Part of my challenge…is to envision, not so much blackness as a race, but the existence of African elements in culture in the future and how is that possible.” The figure in Mutu’s Uterine Catarrh is both shaman and cyborg. Composed on antique paper, her figure shifts between totem and technological invention, the yellowed ground giving an aura of historical reverence to the modern gleen of shiny magazine cartridge. Mutu wittily positions the figure over her found medical illustration, rendering it with a ‘third eye’; a speculum portal of wisdom and vision.

 

wangechi_mutu

Wangechi Mutu installs her work at the Brooklyn Museum’s “Global Feminisms” Exhibition, Spring 20017

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqCH8uFdCG8

wangechi_mutu_cervical

Cervical Hypertrophy, 2005

mutu pretty double headed 2010

Pretty Double Headed, 2010

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s