Like much of Wangechi Mutu's work, Eat Cake focuses on a female protagonist: here, a mysterious woman (played by Mutu) with unkempt hair, clawlike nails, and translucent platform heels. Materializing at water's edge against a soundtrack of tinkling bells and birdcalls, she squats before a multitiered chocolate cake and then messily devours it. Hunched over and swaying, she appears both primal and enchanted.
The woman's decadent clothing and voracious appetite invite reflection on our separation from the natural world and patterns of excessive consumption, while her ritualistic movements suggest an attempt to reconnect with both the earthly and spirit realms of the forest around her. Placed on the floor, Eat Cake forces us to bend over or even squat, mimicking the woman’s position and, perhaps, also that of women in society at large.
- Artist: Wangechi Mutu, Kenyan, born 1972
- Medium: Video installation, beta master tape and two viewing copy Blu-ray discs, wooden pallets
- Dates: 2012
- Collections:Contemporary Art
- Museum Location: This item is on view in Period Room/Installation Gallery
- Accession Number: 2014.9
- Edition: Edition: 1/6 + 2 APs
- Credit Line: Alfred T. White Fund
- Rights Statement: © Wangechi Mutu
- Caption: Wangechi Mutu (Kenyan, born 1972). Eat Cake, 2012. Video installation, beta master tape and two viewing copy Blu-ray discs, wooden pallets Brooklyn Museum, Alfred T. White Fund, 2014.9. © Wangechi Mutu
- Record Completeness: Good (60%)