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Mitumba Deity

Shinique Smith

Contemporary Art

Sitting directly on the floor, like a Minimalist sculpture, Mitumba Deity consists of lumpy bundles of fabric, stuffed toys, and articles of clothing. Composed of Smith’s own garments and those of friends, the piece alludes to the global economy through the path of secondhand clothing. The piece was inspired by a film that tracks a T-shirt with a university logo from a thrift shop in New York to a mountain village in Africa, where it is purchased by a man and becomes his second shirt. Mitumba is a Swahili word that literally means “bundles” and refers to the packages and articles of used clothing donated by people in prosperous countries to charitable causes. Mitumba Deity is from Smith’s series of bundle sculptures.
MEDIUM Fabric, clothing, twine and cardboard
DATES 2005
DIMENSIONS 48 x 50 in. (121.9 x 127 cm)
COLLECTIONS Contemporary Art
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE Gift of the Contemporary Art Council
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