Filmmaker Akosua Adoma Owusu joins Alison de Lima Greene, curator of contemporary art and special projects, in responding to Wangechi Mutu’s The End of carrying All.
The video installation traces an African woman’s journey across an ever-expanding savanna landscape. As she progresses, twilight falls, and her basket becomes increasingly filled with consumer goods and structures: a bicycle wheel, a satellite dish, a tower, and an oil rig. Eventually, the burden becomes too much to bear, and the woman buckles and melts under the strain, becoming one with nature. A volcanic eruption ripples through the earth, all is quiet, and then the journey begins again.
Mutu herself plays the protagonist of this Sisyphean drama. A social and environmental advocate, Mutu has explained that she aims to expose the “complexity of humanity and our place here and my own position as an artist and as a woman.” Facing the possibility of an environmental apocalypse, The End of carrying All pays homage to the strength of the individual and her power to affect change.
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