Nguva na Nyoka

Wangechi Mutu at Victoria Miro

More than just a creative use of vinyl and linoleum, seductive but creepy hybrid female forms are based around the mythologies of Nguva na Nyoka (meaning “Sirens and Serpents” in Kiswahili) ..I liked the jewelled and glistening gluey slim of the part snail / lady.  Through, I was most affected by the sculpture and video work upstairs where there laid a twenty foot, freshly fed.. fat snake with a delicate ceramic head depicting a piecefully sleeping female face.  Completely terrifying, so calm and still yet with horror film style conditioning ..seemingly ready to snap her eyes wide open.  The short film playing behind, based around the same mythologies, is equally unsettling.  Close up of a face looking possessed and with a dark hole of a mouth ready to rival Aerosmith…  crazy looking backwards moving cheerleader come witch… and then the part which mesmerised me the most, our character stands behind a tree and moves her fingers over the bark as though she’s subtly playing it like an instrument, or caressing it like a human form… during which the video is edited so that her fingers drag and echo… merging and sinking a little into the wood, the lilac purple nail varnish always standing out and highlighting the tips of her fingernails.

Catalogue

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