Sitting directly on the floor, like a Minimalist sculpture, Mitumba Deity consists of lumpy bundles of fabric, stuffed toys, and articles of clothing. Composed of Smith’s own garments and those of friends, the piece alludes to the global economy through the path of secondhand clothing. The piece was inspired by a film that tracks a T-shirt with a university logo from a thrift shop in New York to a mountain village in Africa, where it is purchased by a man and becomes his second shirt. Mitumba is a Swahili word that literally means “bundles” and refers to the packages and articles of used clothing donated by people in prosperous countries to charitable causes. Mitumba Deity is from Smith’s series of bundle sculptures.
Fabric, clothing, twine and cardboard
Gift of the Contemporary Art Council
This item is not on view
Shinique Smith (American, born 1971). Mitumba Deity, 2005. Fabric, clothing, twine and cardboard, 48 x 50 in. (121.9 x 127 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Contemporary Art Council, 2009.25. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Image courtesy of Yvon Lambert Gallery, CUR.2009.25.jpg)
. Image courtesy of Yvon Lambert Gallery
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© Shinique Smith
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