Like much of Wangechi Mutu's work, Eat Cake focuses on a female protagonist: here, a mysterious woman (played by Mutu) with unkempt hair, clawlike nails, and translucent platform heels. Materializing at water's edge against a soundtrack of tinkling bells and birdcalls, she squats before a multitiered chocolate cake and then messily devours it. Hunched over and swaying, she appears both primal and enchanted.
The woman's decadent clothing and voracious appetite invite reflection on our separation from the natural world and patterns of excessive consumption, while her ritualistic movements suggest an attempt to reconnect with both the earthly and spirit realms of the forest around her. Placed on the floor, Eat Cake forces us to bend over or even squat, mimicking the woman’s position and, perhaps, also that of women in society at large.
Video installation, beta master tape and two viewing copy Blu-ray discs, loop, 12 minutes 45 seconds; wooden pallets
This item is not on view
Edition: 1/6 + 2 APs
Alfred T. White Fund
© Wangechi Mutu
The Brooklyn Museum holds a non-exclusive license to reproduce images of this work of art from the rights holder named here.
The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act.
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
If you wish to contact the rights holder for this work, please email email@example.com
and we will assist if we can.
Wangechi Mutu (Kenyan, born 1972). Eat Cake, 2012. Video installation, beta master tape and two viewing copy Blu-ray discs, loop, 12 minutes 45 seconds; wooden pallets Brooklyn Museum, Alfred T. White Fund, 2014.9. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2014.9_view01_SC.jpg)
screen capture, Timestamp: 00:29, 2014.9_view01_SC.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2020
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.