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Wangechi Mutu

She’s Egungun Again

2005

Wangechi Mutu trained as both a sculptor and an anthropologist. Drawing on the storytelling traditions of her native Kenya, she is best known for collages like She’s Egungun Again, which depict imaginary female figures using a range of materials including magazine pictures, ink, paint, glitter, and even fur on Mylar. Issues of African identity, cultural hybridity, and women’s roles are Mutu’s primary interests.

Wangechi Mutu (b. 1972, Nairobi, Kenya; lives and works in New York)
She’s Egungun Again, 2005
Ink, acrylic, and collage on Mylar
87 x 52 1/2 in.
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Partial and promised gift of Dallas Price-Van Breda

I took all of these psychological issues and my own personal stories and the stories of other women, and I manifested them as body injuries or mutilations or malformations or exaggerations or prostheses, as a way of talking about the need to extend, perforate, change, or shape-shift your body in order to exist. For an immigrant, there’s an added layer because you’re very aware—especially when you first get to the country of exile, your new home—that you’ve infested or invaded a place where you don’t belong. —Wangechi Mutu