Kenyan-born visual artist Wangechi Mutu has collaborated with creative badass Santigold for her animated short film, The End of Eating Everything, presented by Duke University and the Museum of Contemporary Art’s YouTube channel, MOCAtv. Last summer, Mutu was tapped as a part of Afropunk Pictures’ Triptych short film series at the Brooklyn Museum, but this is the artist’s first foray into animation. Currently on display at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, The End of Eating Everything is at once a stunning visual creation and a piece of social commentary ruminating on our present state of mass consumption in contemporary culture. As the lead character, Santi plays a serpentine-haired creature with an appetite for every living thing around her, a blood lust that ultimately leads to an ambiguous fadeaway before the preview ends.
While the full 8-minute piece is only on view for those in the Durham, NC area who can visit the museum in person, Mutu and Santigold sat down with MOCAtv, one of the sponsors of the show, to discuss the significance of the allegory in The End of Eating Everything. Mutu explains of her piece, “Talking about consumption is also talking about a state of mind, and really how much do we need?” Of course, food is generally the first thing that comes to mind when talking about overconsumption (and that no doubt applies in full force to American society) – but Santigold explains the very real connection to this musical culture we call our own:
“Hip-hop especially, it’s all name dropping – ‘I got this, I got that, I got this brand and this brand, and I’m rich’ – it’s all so materialistic, but it’s so empty…What I like about ['The End of Eating Everything'], it’s what happens when you’re so far gone, you have nowhere else to go, and it’s sort of an implosion.”
The implications of such a statement as the one made by The End of Eating Everything clearly touch on a number of issues in our society, and the result is a work that really makes you think. Both Mutu and Santigold are amazing creative talents in their own rights – to see two women in seemingly disparate fields collaborate on a thought-provoking project such as this is hopefully only the beginning of a much larger trend in the world of fine art and beyond. Watch the preview for The End of Eating Everything below and if you’re in the Durham, NC area before July 21, 2013, definitely go check out the full short film at the Nasher Museum of Art where it will be on display until then.
spotted at L+T