The Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts (GIPCA), in association with STEVENSON, will present a talk by New York-based artist Wangechi Mutu on Friday 7 November 2014.

Wangechi Mutu’s work has often seemed to bear the gaze of a perpetual outsider, simultaneously drawn to and repulsed by the discovery of another fresh outrage in the lands in which she travels. Much of Mutu’s work to date has been concerned with the myriad forms of violence and misrepresentation visited upon women, especially black women, in the contemporary world.
Her paintings and collages often feature writhing female forms, their skin an eruption of buboes, mutant appendices like gun shafts or machine gears sprouting from the sockets of joints, their bodies half human, half hyena. They offer a glimpse at the perversions of the body and the mind wrought by forces active in the oppression of women. Mutu commonly works on paper or Mylar polyester film. Manipulating ink and acrylic paint into pools of colour she carefully applies to her surfaces imagery sampled from disparate sources- Vogue, National Geographic, hunting, motorbike and porn magazines. The resulting works are a rebuke to the conventions of aesthetics and ethnography and eroticism that underpin such publications, offering instead an existence that is riotously free of biological determinism or psychological conditioning.

Wangechi Mutu was born in Nairobi in 1972 and studied at the United World College of the Atlantic in Wales before moving to New York in the 1990s. She earned a BFA from Cooper Union for the Advancement of the Arts and Science in 1996, and an MFA from Yale University (2000). Solo exhibitions have taken place at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Montreal, among other institutions.

This event will take place on Friday 7 November 2014 at 17:15 at the Hiddingh Hall, UCT Hiddingh Campus, Orange Street, Cape Town. The lecture is free and refreshments will be served from 17:00; no booking is necessary. For more information, contact the GIPCA office on 021 480 7156 or

Wangechi Mutu audio recording available for download.

Start: 7 Nov ’14 5:00 pm

End: 7 Nov ’14 6:00 pm

Cost: Free


Organizer: GIPCA


Venue: Hiddingh Hall

Phone: +27 21 480 7156

Address: Google Map UCT Hiddingh Campus, 31 Orange Street, Cape Town, 8001