Date of Award

12-2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Art and Design

First Advisor

Susan Richmond - Chair

Second Advisor

Amira Jarmakani

Third Advisor

Kimberly Cleveland

Abstract

Wangechi Mutu is an internationally recognized Kenyan-born artist who lives and works in Brooklyn. She creates collaged female figures composed of human, animal, object, and machine parts. Mutu’s constructions of the female body provide a transcultural critique on the female persona in Western culture. This paper contextualizes Mutu’s work and artistic strategies within feminist, postmodern, and postcolonial narratives on collage, while exploring whether collage strategies are particularly useful for feminist artists. In their fusion of machine and organism, Mutu’s characters are visual metaphors for feminist cyborgs, particularly those outlined by Donna Haraway. In this paper, I examine parallels between collage as an aesthetic strategy and the figure of the cyborg to suggest meaningful ways of approaching differences between women and how they experience life in contemporary Western culture.

Share

COinS