Ibrahim Mahama: Fragments

Ibrahim Mahama is one of the most prominent artists to emerge from Ghana in recent years, Mahama is known for large-scale installations incorporating jute sacks previously used to transport cocoa beans and charcoal, which are stitched together and draped over architectural structures. For this exhibition, his first solo presentation in the UK, Mahama has created a new series of works including Non-Orientable Nkansa (2016), a monumental sculpture formed from stained wooden fragments.

The title of the exhibition is taken from the book of the same name by the renowned Ghanaian author Ayi Kwei Armah. Published in 1970, the novel explores the relationship between the individual and society within the newly independent Ghana, set against a backdrop of self-serving materialism and a corrupt, crumbling civic environment. Mahama’s practice equally points to the recurring themes of decay and collapse, while exploring systems of capital and production. For the work Non-Orientable Nkansa, for example, he worked with collaborators to exchange or produce hundreds of ‘shoemaker boxes’: small wooden objects made from structural materials found in the city, used to contain tools for polishing and repairing shoes. Bearing the marks of the trade of ‘shoeshine boys’, the boxes also function as an improvised drum, and are pounded to solicit business. Gathered together here in a precariously balanced single unit, the containers are crammed with other repurposed items such as heels, hammers and needles. Having been broken down and reassembled through a collaborative production staged inside a former state-owned paint factory, the boxes are an extension of Mahama’s inquiry into the life of materials and their dynamic potential, which also relates to his work with cast-off jute sacks.


Duration 01 March 2017 - 13 April 2017
Times Tuesday - Saturday 10am - 6pm Sunday 12pm - 6pm
Cost Free
Venue White Cube - Bermondsey Street
Address 144 – 152 Bermondsey Street, London, SE1 3TQ
Contact / enquiries@whitecube.com / http://whitecube.com/

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