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Mesler/Feuer presents Serge Attukwei Clottey - The Displaced

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24 Oct 2015 to 22 Nov 2015
Tuesday -Saturday, 12-6pm
30 Orchard St
NY 10002
New York, NY
New York
North America
T: +1 212 608 6002

Serge Attukwei Clottey, Arrivals, 2015
Plastic and wood
dimensions variable

Artists in this exhibition: Serge Attukwei Clottey

Serge Attukwei Clottey
The Displaced

October 24 - November 22, 2015
Reception for the Artist: Saturday, October 24, 6-8 pm

Mesler/Feuer is pleased to present The Displaced, an exhibition of works by Serge Attukwei Clottey.

As a multi-disciplinary artist, Serge Attukwei Clottey’s oeuvre has grown over the years to include painting, photography, performance, sculpture and installation. His practice is steeped in experimentation, and his inquiries often begin from an earnest and self-critical position, probing further into questions of form and materiality. His current exhibition focuses on his wood installations and plastic montages.

Plastic canisters are a ubiquitous sighting in the artist’s hometown of Labadi, an old Ga settlement in Ghana’s capital, Accra, located in close proximity to the Atlantic Coast. Collected from dumpsites in the neighborhood, the canisters previously served as vessels for storing water and tend to constitute a major problem of waste and sanitation in the area. The canisters delve further into a larger cultural narrative and are symbolic of trade and transportation along the Atlantic Coast. Attukwei cuts up these raw materials into uneven rectangular elements and then assembles into montages from monochromatic compositions to diversified color ranges, determined by what is available from the dumpsites. However, the colors and patterns are not arbitrary; they incorporate ideas, mythologies and philosophies that have informed or shaped his family’s worldview over centuries and reference inlays that serve to identify spaces in the home compound that are deemed sacred or mundane.

The wooden sculptural works, an ensemble of planks and slabs salvaged from derelict canoes from the shores of Accra, bear resemblance to the human form; and the linear incisions reference Attukwei’s memory of places and routes he has traveled to and through. These strange-looking figures embody Attukwei's memory project in which he seeks to reconstruct the migratory pattern of his ancestral lineage. Attukwei traveled these routes in a recent performance, also titled “The Displaced.” Along with members of his GoLokal performance collective, Attukwei embarked on a symbolic journey, an embodied gesture of remembrance of his ancestral migration from Bukom to Labadi aboard a canoe in the ocean.

Symbolic abstractions permeate Attukwei’s work. “Blending materials together to form equal values,” as the artist describes this process, he explores subjects related to commodities and exchange, from plastic canisters, to re-appropriated canoes, to copper wire that stitches the pieces together, Attukwei combines materials contrasting in high and low market value and a variety of political and familial associations. Combining multiple elements conceptually, Attukwei creates compositions of inter-connected fragments—each contributing its own piece of material history to his constellation.

Serge Attukwei Clottey (b. 1985, Accra, Ghana) received his fine arts diploma from Ghanatta College of Art and Design in Ghana before studying at the Escola Guinard Univeristy of Art in Brazil. The artist currently lives and works in his hometown of Labadi in Accra, Ghana. His work has been exhibited internationally at the Stedelijk Museum Bureau, Amsterdam
; Intelligentsia Gallery, Beijing; and the Nubuke Foundation in Accra, Ghana. This is the artist’s first New York solo exhibition.

30 Orchard Street
New York, NY 10002

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