Artist Ibrahim Mahama covers entire buildings with Ghanaian jute sacks

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Ibrahim Mahama - Untitled (K.N.U.S.T.)

Ibrahim Mahama – Untitled (K.N.U.S.T.), 2013 (detail), jute coal sacks, dimensions Variable

Published: August 15, 2014

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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.

Ibrahim Mahama - Collaborators at ”Sekondi Loco shed” for intervention series, Sekondi Takoradi, Ghana

Collaborators at Sekondi Loco shed for intervention series, Sekondi Takoradi, Ghana

Mahama speaks about his installation at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel in 2016

4 min 38 sec

Video: Ibrahim Mahama interview

8 min 30 sec

Selected works

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 Mahama – Civil Aviation, Airport. Accra, Ghana, 2014

Ibrahim Mahama - Social 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

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

Ibrahim Mahama – Social 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 Mahama – Nyhavn Kaplang (installation view), Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Denmark, photo: Anders Sune Berg

Ibrahim Mahama - Nyhavn Kaplang. Installation View, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Denmark

Ibrahim Mahama – Nyhavn Kaplang (installation view), Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Denmark, photo: Anders Sune Berg

Ibrahim Mahama - Nyhavn Kaplang. Installation View, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Denmark

Ibrahim Mahama – Nyhavn Kaplang (installation view), Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Denmark, photo: Anders Sune Berg

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, Jute coal sacks, dimensions Variable

Ibrahim Mahama - Jute Sacks 5

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

Ibrahim Mahama - Jute Sacks

Ibrahim Mahama – Untitled

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 Mahama – K.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 Mahama – Untitled (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 - A Friend, 2019. Installation view, Caselli Daziari di Porta Venezia, Milan. Photo Marco De Scalzi; Courtesy Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, Milan

Ibrahim Mahama – A Friend, 2019, Caselli Daziari di Porta Venezia, Milan, photo: Marco De Scalzi/Fondazione Nicola Trussardi

Ibrahim Mahama - Civil Occupation, 2014, Jute coal sacks, Installation view, Ellis King

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

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

Ibrahim Mahama – Untitled, 2013, draped jute sacks wall installation, dimensions variable

 

All images by Ibrahim Mahama/whitecube.com unless otherwise noted.

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