Members Only (Private Party)
Cardboard and waxed cotton threads
170 x 137 cm
To create his works, Wallen Mapondera collects materials mainly from the street, waste materials that impose themselves on him in his daily life. For the artist, these found materials carry an energy, a layer of meaning and memory that inform, and sometimes direct, the signification of his works. “Mapondera carefully tears, strips, cuts, glues, sews, and rips apart a wide range of found materials in order to highlight personal and collective narratives (…) these materials are like the text in a saga, they are strung together intentionally in order to formulate an important tale.” 1 As in this work, the more or less recognisable scraps are bound into an abstract shape, with great attention to texture and a meticulousness reminiscent of tapestry technique. The title (in English, when many of the artist’s works are titled in Shona, one of Zimbabwe’s official languages) evokes a social, geographical, political situation of the ‘entre soi’, an exclusive gathering of some, which by definition suggests the exclusion of others. The colours chosen by Wallen Mapondera draw two distinct sets that do not mix, accentuating the idea of moral or physical boundaries.
1 Tandazani Dhlakama, « Materiality in Mapondera’s Practice », dans Wallen Mapondera, éd. Smac Gallery, 2022, p. 8