Research, Curatorial Practice and Writing
“KENTE FOR THE SPACE AGE“, 2007
Installation with pre-paid cards
Kente for the Space Age uses a form of weaving that is traditional to Afri- can textile production and applies it to prepaid cards common in mobile telephony. The cards’ extremely colourful designs and their interchangeable and optimistic slogans, “Get Active”, “Live Simply”, “Share your World”, or “Flaunt your Style”, contrast with, and reconcile, the promises of imaginary participation in the world using craft techniques that have been handed down. Economic structures resulting from violent historical and geographical intru- sions become clear in the forms that Rikki Wemega Kwawu uses as elements in the pattern. The extreme colouring ironizes stereotypical notions of Afri- can art production though the prepaid cards also symbolise a communication interface between nearness and distance for family members of a migrational society who are dispersed all over the world.