Wangechi Mutu |
The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University presents artist Wangechi Mutu’s first animated video, created in collaboration with recording artist Santigold and co-released by MOCAtv on YouTube. The 8-minute video, The End of eating Everything (2013), marks the journey of a flying, planet-like creature navigating a bleak skyscape. This ‘sick planet’ creature is lost in a polluted atmosphere, without grounding or roots, led by hunger towards its own destruction. The animation’s audio, also created by Mutu, fuses industrial and organic sounds.
The video was commissioned by the Nasher Museum as part of ‘Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey,’ the first survey in the United States for this internationally renowned, multidisciplinary artist, and her most comprehensive and innovative show yet (http://nasher.duke.edu/mutu/art.php).
Santigold is Santi White, an artist whose album Master of My Make Believe was released in 2012 and became her first No. 1 album, topping the Billboard Dance/Electronic Albums chart. She won an ASCAP Pop Music award (Vanguard Award) and has been nominated for both the Q, MTV Europe Music and BRIT awards.
Santigold says this about the film:
“Hip-hop especially, it’s all name dropping – ‘I got this, I got that, I got this brand and this brand, and I’m rich’ – it’s all so materialistic, but it’s so empty….What I like about [The End of eating Everything], it’s what happens when you’re so far gone, you have nowhere else to go, and it’s sort of an implosion” (http://www.okayplayer.com/news/santigold-awangechi-mutu-the-end-of-eating-everything-animated-short-film.html).
“Wangechi’s concept behind the animation is talking about consumption. It speaks to our empty artistic environment, when art is supposed to be something that keeps renewing us culturally. It’s like a pendulum that is so far over to the wrong side there’s nowhere else to go. In The End of eating Everything, being that far gone results in an implosive rebirth.” (http://lifeandtimes.com/santigold-stars-in-artist-wangechi-mutus-first-animated-video)
When in conversation with Mutu, Santigold describes the video in this manner:
“What I think is interesting about your piece is how literally it’s what happens. It’s how the pendulum turns. It’s when you’re so far gone that there’s nowhere else to go but sort of an implosion. And you know that’s what’s happened to her [the creature] in this piece. And I think that is exactly where we are at in culture and art. … I mean we’re so far on the wrong side there is really no more room. We are at this place where it’s going to an explosive renewal.” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XczdrcLUxMA)
Mutu describes her video in this way:
“My dreams look very much like The End of eating Everything. Coming out of the world of my collages … this film is a slice of my own type of magic realism, as a real and tragic space caught in time.” … These images are a fusion of some unanswered questions that I have, critiques or commentary about our brittle humanity, as well as depictions of our loss of home, our shared body and its insatiable habits, and my hopes for an awakening through consciousness and healing. Santigold has carved out her own powerful sound that defies simple categorization and I find that to be so superfresh and intriguing and inspiring. … She [Santigold] embodied this gorgeous, gigantic monster-quasi-human-planet really well!” (The End of eating Everything press release)
Bio: Wangechi Mutu, born in Nairobi, Kenya, 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 creating provocative collages which depict female figures. Bringing her interconnected ecosystems to life through sculptural installations and videos, Mutu encourages audiences to consider mythical worlds as places for cultural, psychological, and socio-political exploration and transformation.