The Portuguese artist was invited to create a piece for the opening of the MassArt Art Museum, in Boston. The result is "Mumbet", a tribute to the local slave who stood out in the fight for human rights.
In her first solo exhibition on American soil, Joana Vasconcelos was invited to create a piece for the opening, on February 22th, of the MassArt Art Museum (MAAM), in Boston, in the United States.
Mumbet is the title of the monumental textile installation by the Portuguese artist, who uses capulanas to honor a local figure, the African-American Elizabeth Freeman, a woman born slave who stood out in the defense of human rights, contributing to the abolition of slavery in her state and country.
Measuring around 377m², Valquíria Mumbet has an estimated weight of 1,350 kg, distributed over 70 attachment points, this new Valquíria, from the series started by Joana Vasconcelos in 2004, is inhabited by palm trees, baobabs, leaves and fruits, also incorporating a component Portuguese handcrafts: Pico Island lace, crochet threads that connect the Azores to the community of descendants of the archipelago based in the New England region.
Produced during her months at the artist's studio, Mumbet "it has the particularity of not being particularly sumptuous or luxurious, but is distinguished by the high number of inflatable arms (22), solicitous and generous like the woman who inspired her", reads in statement by Joana Vasconcelos.
The different components of the piece will be assembled in the museum's entrance gallery, a process that will take 10 days. "At the bottom of the space, the visitor can move freely between four descending arms, which create the environment of a confined space in the center of the piece", the note also mentions.