Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey is the first survey in the United States of this internationally renowned, Brooklyn-based artist and will be showing at the Brooklyn Museum until next March. This retrospective began at the Nasher Museum of Art and will make its way to the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami in April 2014 and the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University in September 2014. The exhibition in Brooklyn has been made possible by the Elizabeth A. Sackler Foundation.
Born in Nairobi, Kenya, Mutu scrutinizes globalization by combining found materials, magazine cutouts, sculpture, and painted imagery. Sampling such diverse sources as African traditions, international politics, the fashion industry, pornography, and science fiction, her work explores gender, race, war, colonialism, global consumption, and the exoticization of the black female body.
Mutu is best known for spectacular and provocative collages depicting female figures—part human, animal, plant, and machine—in fantastical landscapes that are simultaneously unnerving and alluring, defying easy categorization and identification. Bringing her interconnected ecosystems to life for this exhibition through sculptural installations and videos, Mutu encourages audiences to consider these mythical worlds as places for cultural, psychological, and socio-political exploration and transformation.
The exhibition also includes Mutu’s first animation in which she collaborated with musician Santigold. The 8-minute video, The End of eating Everything,marks the journey of a flying, planet-like creature navigating a bleak skyscape. Read more about the animation at Cine Kenya’s previous post here and view an interview with Mutu and Santigold (below), where they discuss the inspiration behind the animation film and how why they decided to work together.