Skip Navigation

Ici on crève ("We're Dying Here")

Aimé Mpane

Arts of Africa

On View: Double Take Installation, East Gallery, 1st Floor
ART OF POWER
Although art has historically glorified the powerful, it can also be a means of communication and expression for those without power. These Congolese works represent opposite ends of the social spectrum.

The mwaash aMbooy mask is emblematic of royal power and prestige for the Kuba kingdom of the central Congo. It represents Woot, the founding hero from whom the Kuba trace their descent, and is worn only by the king (nyim) or by local chiefs. In both its dance and as a sculpture, it is a vision of gravity and composure.

The contemporary portraits by Aimé Mpane, in turn, depict the struggles of those without access to power. They show ordinary citizens of Kinshasa, along with representations of their fears and desires. The artist carves these images from plywood, turning two-dimensional surfaces into works filled with light and shadow (suggesting both presence and absence) that animate the stories of the dispossessed.
MEDIUM Paint, wood, mixed media
DATES 2006-2008
DIMENSIONS each panel: 12 1/2 x 12 in. (31.8 x 30.5 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of Africa
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Double Take Installation, East Gallery, 1st Floor
ACCESSION NUMBER 2012.47a-m
CREDIT LINE Caroline A.L. Pratt Fund
RIGHTS STATEMENT © Aimé Mpane
The Brooklyn Museum holds a non-exclusive license to reproduce images of this work of art from the rights holder named here.

The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act.

For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch.

For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright.

If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact copyright@brooklynmuseum.org.

If you wish to contact the rights holder for this work, please email copyright@brooklynmuseum.org and we will assist if we can.
CAPTION Aimé Mpane (Congolese, born 1968). Ici on crève ("We're Dying Here"), 2006-2008. Paint, wood, mixed media, each panel: 12 1/2 x 12 in. (31.8 x 30.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Caroline A.L. Pratt Fund, 2012.47a-m. © Aimé Mpane
IMAGE installation, DIG_E_2014_Double_Take_African_Innovations_04_2012.47a-m_PS4.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2014
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
RECORD COMPLETENESS Good (70%)
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.
Ici on crève ("Were Dying Here")