ibrahim mahama presents urban wall of 2000 wooden boxes at miami white cube pop-up
 

ibrahim mahama presents urban wall of 2000 wooden boxes at miami white cube pop-up

to coincide with art basel miami 2017, london-based gallery white cube presents an off-site project by ghanian artist ibrahim mahama. titled ‘non-orientable nkansa’, the large-scale installation sees the artist employ materials from urban environments to create an architectural structure.

ibrahim mahama presents urban wall of 2000 wooden boxes at miami white cube pop-up
image © designboom

 

 

to present the piece during miami art week 2017, ibrahim mahama engaged with collaborators to produce 2,000 ‘shoemaker boxes’. these small wooden objects are made from structural materials found in the city and are 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 in the region. 

ibrahim mahama non-orientable nkansa white cube
image © designboom

 

 

gathered together in a single, monumental unit, the containers are crammed with other re-purposed items such as heels hammers and needles — all of which are part of mahama’s ongoing inquiry into materials. the work finds itself in a redundant former state-run factory, lending an added resonance since it is in the political exigencies of space and the evolution of materials from one context to another that the work’s intention resides.

ibrahim mahama non-orientable nkansa white cube
image © designboom

 

 

mahama and his collaborators obtained the items through a process of negotiation and exchange, forming a critical feature of the artist’s practice. recent work of his includes the repurposing of jute sacks previously used to transport cocoa beans and charcoal, stitching them together and draping them on the walls of the white cube gallery in london. 

ibrahim mahama non-orientable nkansa white cube
image © designboom

 

 

accompanying this major work are a series of jute sack paintings, continuing this theme and serving as distillations of the larger architectural interventions. ‘you find different points of aesthetics within the surface of the sacks’ fabric’, mahama states. ‘I am interested in how crisis and failure are absorbed into this mate rial with a strong reference to global transaction and how capitalist structures work’. the sacks are stitched and collaged together with the assistance of dozen of collaborators, of whom many are migrants and have travelled from cities as accra and kumasi. hues and textures of the bags display traces of each one’s individual journey and history with some bearing official writings such as ‘product of ghana’.

ibrahim mahama non-orientable nkansa white cube
image © designboom

ibrahim mahama non-orientable nkansa white cube
image © designboom

ibrahim mahama non-orientable nkansa white cube
image © designboom

ibrahim mahama non-orientable nkansa white cube
image © designboom

ibrahim mahama non-orientable nkansa white cube
image © designboom

ibrahim mahama non-orientable nkansa white cube
image © designboom

ibrahim mahama non-orientable nkansa white cube
image © designboom

ibrahim mahama presents urban wall of 2000 wooden boxes at miami white cube pop-up
image © alain alminana, courtesy white cube

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