See Wangechi Mutu's exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney was on my to do list before I went on my trip to China. I was too busy to go to make it. First weekend after back to Sydney, I went to the show finally.
It was a lovely sunny day. Made me enjoyed the show even more.
Wasn't a lot people at MCA at that time.
Wangechi Mutu is a Kenyan-born, Brooklyn-based artist and sculptor. While Mutu employs a variety of mediums including video, installation, and sculpture, she is best known for her large-scale collages on pieces of Mylar.
Mutu's works often make the female body central, and confront the viewer with "plant-like or animal-like elements and intertwined abstract patterns" that merge the organic and the surreal with human forms. These hybrid creatures have bodies made of a combination of machine, animal, human, and monster parts. Mutu constructs these warrior-like females out of magazine cutouts, sculpted and painted surfaces, and found materials. The sources her collage images range from a variety of media, including commercial fashion and lifestyle magazines, pornography, and automobile and motorcycle magazines. These distorted yet elegant figures that Mutu creates are based on the concept that, “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.” This idea is illustrated in works such as One Hundred Lavish Months of Bushwhack (2004). In this collage we see a reptile-like hybrid creature, poised as if she is on guard and tense. Her head and foot bleed profusely while a smaller monstrous creature appears to be holding up the wounded figure. This piece, like much of Mutu’s work, speaks to a historical, cultural, and personal narrative of postimperialism, feminism, and globalization by combining images of the female body with contemporary narratives of African culture and tradition.
Wangechi Mutu Perhaps the Moon Will Save Us (detail) 2008, blankets, plastic pearls, aluminium foil, animal pelts, clothing, photo collage, packing tape, ink, paint, image courtesy the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels.
Furs and bullet holes adorned the walls while wine bottles dangled in a careless chandelier-like form above the stained table. The table’s multiple legs resembled thick femurs with visibly delicate tibias, and the whole space had a pungent aroma. The artists strove to show a moment of gluttony. This vicious hunger was seen as a connection between images of The Last Supper, the climate of the current art-buying world, and the war in Iraq.
Another installation of Mutu, Suspended Playtime (2008) is a series of bundles of garbage bags, wrapped in gold twine as if suspended in spiders' webs, all suspended from the ceiling over the viewer. The installation makes reference to the common use of garbage bags as improvised balls and other playthings by African children.
In 2013, Wangechi Mutu's first-ever animated video, The End of eating Everything, was created in collaboration with recording artist Santigold, commissioned by the Nasher Museum of Art.