Wangechi Mutu

Moth Girls, 2010

Wangechi Mutu
Moth Girls
Dimensions and medium
Various objects and materials, 246 ceramic figurines, leather wings, feathers, paper and wash, Variable dimensions
Artwork description
Moth Girls reintroduces the notion of taxonomy and the practice of classification and hierarchization of species—and by extension, of people and races—through the recurring motif of a half-human, half-animal feminine hybrid figure. The installation’s configuration evokes a modest classroom setting in an African school. Worked directly into the mural’s surface, reddish areas are carved into the shape of four Kenyan lakes. This elemental relationship to landscapes from the geography of memory reflects the intense introspective power that inhabits the work of Wangechi Mutu. Suggestive of bodily wounds, but also of colonialist appropriation and territorial exploitation, the work skillfully merges poetic symbolism with ethno-political discourse.

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