Wangechi Mutu: Misguided Little Unforgiven Hierarchies

As the title suggests, these three figures are stacked in a composition that speaks to power dynamics, inviting viewers to question the relationships among them and thereby question other hierarchies in everyday life and history. Such rankings of peoples have historically been constructed around fabricated racial and ethnic categories, which were invoked to justify Europe’s colonization of Africa, the Americas, Australia, and much of Asia. Mutu often uses woundlike splatters, as seen in the background here, to allude to the wars and bloodshed associated with colonialism, particularly in regard to violence against women.