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Penny Stamps Speaker Series

Ibrahim Mahama

Failures Promises

September 26, 2019

Ibrahim Mahama

Ibrahim Mahama is a Ghanaian artist who considers the ways in which capital and labor are expressed in common materials through large-scale installations. In Occupation Series, Mahama focused on the jute sacks that are synonymous with the trade markets of Ghana where he lives and works. Fabricated in Southeast Asia, the sacks are imported by the Ghana Cocoa Boards to transport cocoa beans and eventually end up as multi-functional objects, used for the transportation of food, charcoal, and other commodities. Often exploring the potentialities and failures of modernity, Mahama’s work uses materials and forms that present us with alternative perspectives through which to view the conditions of contemporary society, labor, and the “politics of the hand.” His most recent work, A Straight Line Through the Carcass of History, has also dealt with forms related to the second world war and bacteria life. Mahama obtained an MFA in painting and sculpture in 2013 and a BFA in painting in 2010 at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana. His work has been included in the 56th and 57th Venice Biennale, and has been exhibited internationally. He was an artist-in-residence with the Berliner Künstlerprogramm in 2018.

Co-presented with the Institute for the Humanities.

Unless otherwise noted, all programs take place on Thursdays at 5:10 pm at the historic Michigan Theater, located at 603 E. Liberty Street in downtown Ann Arbor, and are free of charge and open to the public.