Wangechi Mutu: Root of All Eves

This work conflates perceptions of woman as the root of evil—as in the story of Adam and Eve—and the characterization of Africa as the “dark continent” where evil forces originate and reside. With her flashy sunglasses, bits of military garb, and amputated arm, this figure suggests the interplay of power and loss over decades of civil wars in Africa. Her throne extends into the subterranean realm, connecting her to mysterious dark forces beneath the ground. By alluding to both the detritus of colonialism and the powerful spirits that have supposedly brought bad fortune upon the continent, Mutu addresses the persistent lack of understanding of African history, cultures, and religions.