Gonçalo Mabunda (Mozambican, born 1975) Weapon Throne II 83 x 54 x 50cm (32 11/16 x 21 1/4 x 19 11/16).

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Lot 13W
Gonçalo Mabunda
(Mozambican, born 1975)
Weapon Throne II 83 x 54 x 50cm (32 11/16 x 21 1/4 x 19 11/16).

Sold for £ 6,250 (US$ 8,184) inc. premium
Gonçalo Mabunda (Mozambican, born 1975)
Weapon Throne II
metal and recycled weapons
83 x 54 x 50cm (32 11/16 x 21 1/4 x 19 11/16).

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Acquired directly from the artist by the current owner.


    Collective memory and national identity are two of Gonçalo Mabunda's central themes. For sixteen years, his homeland of Mozambique was ravaged by civil war, until a ceasefire brought an end to the conflict in 1992. Thousands of lives were lost and the landscape devastated. When peace was finally restored, the number one preoccupation was how to unify the country and heal social rifts.

    Three years after the ceasefire, the Christian Council of Mozambique established a programme that encouraged artists to utilise some of the weapons that had been stockpiled and hidden during the war. Over seven million weapons were discovered across the country. Determined to eliminate the threat that these left-over arms posed, the Council set about decommissioning these weapons. Artists were then employed to reconfigure the pieces of metal into works of beauty.

    'Recycled art' has since become one of the country's defining exports. On visiting Mabunda's studio in Mafalala, a historic shantytown on the outskirts of Maputo, writer Maris Derrieussecq remarked that there are now two well-established models: one is the art of recycled rubbish - bottle tops, empty cartoons, foil etc., made popular by artists such as El Anatsui and Romauld Hazoume. The second is that of the recycled weapon, exemplified by Mabunda and his contemporaries Francisco Vidal and Adel Abdessemed.

    The current work, and the previous Weapon Throne, explore the trope of 'Big Man Rule'. The very structure of the chair is made from welded weapons, symbolising the political elite's reliance on the military in order to maintain control. In creating these sculptures, Mabunda prevents us from succumbing to comforting historical amnesia. His works suggest that rifts will only be healed by approaching past conflicts with directness and honesty.

    Bibliography
    M. Darrieussecq, 'Butcheca and Goncalo Mabunda' in Art Review, (December, 2014) pp. 104 - 105.

Saleroom notices

  • This lot will be accompanied by a document from the Proof Master at the Worshipful Company of Gunmakers stating that it has ceased to be a firearm or ordnance.
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