Event Date and time: 1 March – 13 April 2017
Venue Details: White Cube | 144-152 Bermondsey St, London SE1 3TQ
Organisers: White Cube
Event website: Ibrahim Mahama Fragments
Event cost: Free
White Cube presents ‘Fragments’, an exhibition by Ibrahim Mahama. 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.
An interest in civic activity has taken Mahama into the domain of bureaucratic information gathering and its simultaneous disposal. Municipal maps and archival documents – some on the verge of destruction, others recently made digital – are superimposed with imprints of civilian information, presented in a floor-to-ceiling installation in 9x9x9. In the auditorium, a dual projection film titled Exchange Exchanger (2017) traces the process of Mahama’s production.
In these new bodies of work Mahama explores time and transference, privation and potential, as embodied through objects, materials and the traces left in their wake. As he explains, ‘the hope is that their residues – stained, broken and abandoned, but bearing light – might lead us into new possibilities and spaces beyond.’