Entire museum buildings covered by jute sack

Ibrahim Mahama - Untitled (K.N.U.S.T.)
Ibrahim MahamaUntitled (K.N.U.S.T.), 2013 (Detail), Jute coal sacks, dimensions Variable

About Ibrahim Mahama

Ibrahim Mahama is an artist born and working with Ghana. His installation works using Jute sacks (reappropriated material he has purchased from markets, which were first cocoa sacks and then coal sacks) are the result of his investigation of the conditions of supply and demand in African markets. Torn, patched, stamped with PRODUCT OF GHANA, and written over with owners’ names, the bags are variously marred, marked, and transformed. These installations are displayed in Ghanaian markets as well as galleries, thus defying the artifacts’ intrinsic value system. Ibrahim uses the coal sacks as a device to explore process, material, value, and meaning. He creates an artistic vision out of a commonplace material, repurposing them and exhibiting them in the very marketplaces from which they came.

Installations in Accra, Ghana

Ibrahim Mahama - Installation at Accra’s National Theatre, Central Ghana
Ibrahim Mahama – Installation at Accra’s National Theatre, Ghana

Ibrahim Mahama - Installation at Accra’s National Theatre
Ibrahim Mahama – Installation at Accra’s National Theatre, Ghana

Ibrahim Mahama - Civil Aviation, Airport. Accra, Ghana, 2014
Ibrahim MahamaCivil Aviation, Airport. Accra, Ghana, 2014

Ibrahim Mahama - Social Reality, 2014, James Town, Accra, Ghana, fabric made from coal sacks and wax print panels
Ibrahim MahamaSocial Reality, 2014, James Town, Accra, Ghana, fabric made from coal sacks and wax print panels

Ibrahim Mahama - Social Reality, 2014, James Town, Accra, Ghana, fabric made from coal sacks and wax print panels, detail
Ibrahim MahamaSocial Reality (detail), 2014, James Town, Accra, Ghana, fabric made from coal sacks and wax print panels

Kunsthal Charlottenborg, 2016

Ibrahim Mahama - Nyhavn Kaplang. Installation View, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Denmark
Ibrahim MahamaNyhavn Kaplang (installation view), Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Denmark
Photo by Anders Sune Berg

Ibrahim Mahama - Nyhavn Kaplang. Installation View, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Denmark
Ibrahim MahamaNyhavn Kaplang (installation view), Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Denmark
Photo by Anders Sune Berg

Ibrahim Mahama - Nyhavn Kaplang. Installation View, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Denmark
Ibrahim MahamaNyhavn Kaplang (installation view), Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Denmark
Photo by Anders Sune Berg

Venice Biennale, 2015

Ibrahim Mahama - Out of Bounds, 2015, Venice Biennale 2
Ibrahim MahamaOut of Bounds, 2015, Venice Biennale, Italy

Ibrahim Mahama - Out of Bounds, 2015, Venice Biennale
Ibrahim MahamaOut of Bounds, 2015, Venice Biennale, Italy

Ibrahim Mahama - Out of Bounds (Installation view), 2015, 56th Venice Biennale
Ibrahim MahamaOut of Bounds (installation view), 2015, Venice Biennale, Italy

Ibrahim Mahama - Out of Bounds (detail), 2015, Venice Biennale
Ibrahim MahamaOut of Bounds (detail), 2015, Venice Biennale, Italy

documenta 14, Kassel, Germany, 2017

Ibrahim Mahama – Torwache, Kassel, Germany, 2017, documenta 14
Ibrahim Mahama – Torwache, Kassel, Germany, 2017

Ibrahim Mahama – Torwache, Kassel, Germany, 2017, documenta 14, photo Jody Zellen
Ibrahim Mahama – Torwache, Kassel, Germany, 2017
Photo: Jody Zellen

Ibrahim Mahama - Torwache, Kassel, Germany, Photo dpa
Ibrahim Mahama – Torwache, Kassel, Germany, 2017
Photo dpa

Ibrahim Mahama - Torwache, Kassel, Germany, Photo Klaus Wagner
Ibrahim Mahama – Torwache, Kassel, Germany, 2017
Photo Klaus Wagner

documenta 14, Athens, Greece, 2017

Ibrahim Mahama - Syntagma Square, Athens, 2017, dpa
Ibrahim Mahama – Syntagma Square, Athens, 2017
Photo dpa

Ibrahim Mahama - Check Point Prosfygika. 1934–2034. 2016–2017, 2017, performance with charcoal sacks on Syntagma Square
Ibrahim MahamaCheck Point Prosfygika. 1934–2034. 2016–2017, 2017, performance with charcoal sacks on Syntagma Square

Ibrahim Mahama - Check Point Prosfygika. 1934–2034. 2016–2017, 2017, Performance mit Kohlesäcken auf Syntagma Platz, Athen, documenta 14, Foto- Mathias Völzke
Ibrahim MahamaCheck Point Prosfygika. 1934–2034. 2016–2017, 2017, performance with charcoal sacks on Syntagma Square, Greece, Athen, documenta 14
Photo Mathias Völzke

Ibrahim Mahama - Syntagma Square, Athens, 2017, Nikos Libertas / SOOC
Ibrahim MahamaCheck Point Prosfygika. 1934–2034. 2016–2017, 2017, performance with charcoal sacks on Syntagma Square, Greece, Athen, documenta 14
Photo Nikos Libertas / SOOC

Saachi Gallery, London, 2014

Ibrahim Mahama - Untitled, 2014, Saatchi Gallery
Ibrahim Mahama – Untitled, 2014, Saachi Gallery, London

Ibrahim Mahama – Untitled, 2014, Saachi Gallery 2
Ibrahim MahamaUntitled, 2014, Saachi Gallery, London

Ibrahim Mahama – Untitled, 2014, Saachi Gallery
Ibrahim MahamaUntitled, 2014, Saachi Gallery, London

Ibrahim Mahama – Untitled (2013), Saachi Gallery, London
Ibrahim MahamaUntitled, 2014, Saachi Gallery, London

Adum Railway Station, Ghana, 2013

Ibrahim Mahama - Untitled (Adum Railway Station)
Ibrahim Mahama – Untitled (Adum Railway Station), 2013, Jute coal sacks, dimensions Variable

Ibrahim Mahama - Untitled (Adum Railway Station)
Ibrahim Mahama – Untitled (Adum Railway Station), 2013 (Detail), Jute coal sacks, dimensions Variable

Ibrahim Mahama - Jute Sacks
Ibrahim Mahama – Untitled (Adum Railway Station), 2013 (Detail), Jute coal sacks, dimensions Variable

Ibrahim Mahama - Untitled
Ibrahim Mahama – Untitled, Jute coal sacks, dimensions Variable

Ibrahim Mahama - Jute Sacks
Ibrahim Mahama – Untitled, Jute coal sacks, dimensions Variable

K.N.U.S.T Library, Kumasi, Ghana, 2014

Ibrahim Mahama - Untitled (PANGAEA)
Ibrahim Mahama – Untitled (K.N.U.S.T.) , 2013 (Detail), Jute coal sacks, dimensions Variable

Ibrahim Mahama - K.N.U.S.T Library. Occupation and labour. Kumasi, Ghana, 2014
Ibrahim MahamaK.N.U.S.T Library. Occupation and labour. Kumasi, Ghana, 2014

Ibrahim Mahama - Untitled (K.N.U.S.T.), 2014, Jute Coal Sacks, Dimensions Variable
Ibrahim MahamaUntitled (K.N.U.S.T.), 2014, Jute Coal Sacks, Dimensions Variable

Ibrahim Mahama - Untitled
Ibrahim Mahama – Untitled, Jute coal sacks, dimensions Variable

Ibrahim Mahama - Untitled
Ibrahim Mahama – Untitled, Jute coal sacks, dimensions Variable

Other installations

Ibrahim Mahama - Emschertal-Museum Herne, Schloss Strünkede Herne, photo Ferdinand Ullrich
Ibrahim Mahama – Emschertal-Museum Herne, Schloss Strünkede Herne, 2018
Photo: Ferdinand Ullrich

Ibrahim Mahama - Civil Occupation, 2014, Jute coal sacks, Installation view
Ibrahim MahamaCivil Occupation (installation view), 2014, Jute coal sacks, Ellis King

Ibrahim Mahama - Juli Baw, 2015, Coal sacks, dye sack with makins and creen print, 548 x 767 cm
Ibrahim MahamaJuli Baw, 2015, Coal sacks, dye sack with makins and creen print, 548 x 767 cm

Ibrahim Mahama - Markings and body on coal sacks
Ibrahim Mahama – Markings and body on coal sacks

Ibrahim Mahama - Post No Bill, 2015, Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University
Ibrahim MahamaPost No Bill, 2015, at Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University

Ibrahim Mahama - Samisa Towers of Emancipation. Silence Between the Lines, Group Exhibition. Kumasi, Ghana, 2015
Ibrahim MahamaSamisa Towers of Emancipation. Silence Between the Lines, Group Exhibition. Kumasi, Ghana, 2015

Ibrahim Mahama – Untitled, 2013, Draped jute sacks wall installation, Dimensions variable (Photo courtesy artist)
Ibrahim MahamaUntitled, 2013, Draped jute sacks wall installation, Dimensions variable

Ibrahim Mahama - Exchange Exchanger 2013-2016.Film. Duration- 10 minutes. © the artist. Courtesy White Cube
Still of Ibrahim Mahama – Exchange Exchanger, 2013-2016, film, 10 minutes

Video – Tel Aviv Museum of Art in 2016

4min 38sec

Mahama speaks about his installation at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel

Video – Interview

8min 30sec

Related works

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