That last post is a tough act to follow, but moving on in a very different direction: Plastic and plush toys and dolls can be used to tell many different kinds of stories. Some are real and some are fanciful. Some are hairy and some are scary. Some are pretty and some are gritty. Some are fashion-forward and some are inside-out.
Vitshois Mwilambwe Bondo uses doll parts to tell his own story, a story of Global Conflict. Born in 1981, the African artist comes from the “heart of the chaotic megalopolis of the Democratic Republic of Congo.” He studied visual art at the Art Academy of Kinshasa. He writes:
I was a member of the collective of young Congolese artists. We tried to explore with passion and engagement free and innovating creations. The collective was constituted as a framework to exchanges the different experiences in our lifes, spirits and expressions, but also to fight for human rights and our freedom. All the attempts are articulated around a concept which is called – the librisme. This is a movement of young revolutionary thinking artists in the Democratic Republic of Congo and other countries of the African continent by being opposed to colonial and old school academic art.
Mwilambwe Bondo’s art examines world problems, in particular African problems:
In my work, I try to investigate myself and to ask questions about my society, the cultural encounter of humans as well as the dialogue between different people. In the collages I’m putting together different body parts of different images to create a new human body. The body is mutilated, which confronts us with chaotic situations and reflects on current conflicts in Africa and other parts of the world.
Vitshois Mwilambwe Bondo stopped updating his website around the time of the Global Conflict installation and I was worried, but his Facebook page is current!
I don’t encounter very many artists from Africa in my usual research (and no Jeremycats made it to the area either), so I’m happy to add something other than coffins and cannibalism to my “Africa” tag archive.
ᔥ Sweet Station