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Concerning ConsequencesStudies in Art, Destruction, and Trauma$
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Kristine Stiles

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226774510

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226304403.001.0001

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Wangechi Mutu’s Family Tree (2013)1

Wangechi Mutu’s Family Tree (2013)1

(p.343) Wangechi Mutu’s Family Tree (2013)1
Concerning Consequences

Kristine Stiles

University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines the hybrid, cyborgian identity that Wangechi Mutu constantly reinvents in her art througth an analysis of Family Tree. Mutu's collage and installation work delivers visual creolization as the corollary of “contact zones.” She continually reforms the metaphorical “we” in images, objects, and actions, working in every medium to invent this hybrid. The chapter explores Mutu's visual analysis of world culture and its planetary rootedness in racial, sexual, economic, and national divides; war; and the violence of privilege. It places Mutu's work within the domain of a philosophical conversation on intersubjectivity and discusses her exacting reconstruction of shared states of collective subjectivity and cultural agency. It also considers the convergence of trauma and feminism in her work and the forensic aspect of her reconstruction of composite imagery.

Keywords:   intersubjectivity, Wangechi Mutu, art, Family Tree, collage, contact zones, world culture, cultural agency, trauma, feminism

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