Wangechi Mutu’s Family Tree – #CCF

Wangechi Mutu, Try Dismantling the Little Empire Inside You, Ink, Mylar, pigment, photocollage with mixed media on Mylar and wall, 95 1/2 x 104”, 2007

Wangechi Mutu, Try Dismantling the Little Empire Inside You, Ink, Mylar, pigment, photocollage with mixed media on Mylar and wall, 95 1/2 x 104”, 2007

Definitions have always been my go-to method for gathering my thoughts; when you define something, it becomes clear and finite, manageable and straightforward. It creates a singular approach to a topic. After reading Kristine Stiles’ essay Wangechi Mutu’s Family Tree in the stunning exhibition catalogue for ‘Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey’, I felt saturated by the full sensory experience- from Stiles’ words, to Mutu’s salient images, to the gorgeous, smooth matte cover of the book. So, I retreated to my comfort zone of definitions to decompress. The corner I managed to back myself into with this, is that seeking a tidy, singular trajectory for something which in itself embodies plurality felt inadequate, especially with the much wiser and nuanced voices in the essay colouring my interpretations.

The above excerpt is from Katherine Kennedy’s review of the essay ‘Wangechi Mutu’s Family Tree’ by Kristine Stiles in the exhibition catalogue Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey, this week’s addition to the Fresh Milk Books Tumblr – the online space inviting interaction with our collection in the Colleen Lewis Reading Room.

For new Critical. Creative. Fresh reviews every week, look out for our #CCF Tuesdays  and see the good reads we have available at Fresh Milk!

mutu book 1200