Exchange Exchanger (1957-2057)

Ibrahim Mahama

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Mahama uses worn-out jute sacks, which he gets from traders in exchange for new ones, to shroud buildings. For him, the story of global trade materialises in these sacks. They are, on one hand, evidence in his search for manifestations of capitalist economic activity, on the other, they reveal local references within the international working class. Those who weave, pack, and transport them also leave behind their sweat, their mark and their names on the sacks. The sacks become skins with scars, which tell a socio-political and economic prehistory. The sacks are sewn together, mostly by refugees from other countries, into huge sculptures. The rooms in which this needlework takes place - an abandoned train station, a silo, or the courtyard of his parents' house - shape the work: the sculpture takes on the form of the place in which it was produced, it embodies the spirit that prevails there. What emerges is a new cartography of these places. It records and links spaces in terms of the motives and purposes that Mahama evokes between them.
178 pages
Perfect binding
24 x 33 cm.