Ibrahim Mahama is well-known to wider audiences through the work he presented at the 2015 Venice Biennale (the covering of a long outdoor corridor in the Arsenale complex), as well as his two contributions to documenta 14—an enormous floor covering made of jute sacks in Syntagma square in Athens and the blanketing of the Torwache building in Kassel. He has been a guest of the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program since May 2017.
For the exhibition at daadgalerie, his first presentation in Berlin, Ibrahim Mahama (b. 1987 in Tamale, Ghana) calls the viewer’s attention to the material traces of history, “the surviving witnesses of the collapses of the twentieth century,” and confronts the supposed linearity of historiography with a complex ensemble of historical sources and geopolitical backgrounds.
In his installation, Mahama has brought together materials from various origins and geographical contexts: hospital stretchers found in a scrapyard in Athens, which were used for transporting patients during the Second World War and later served as movie props, are combined with old household textiles used in fish smokeries along the west coast of Africa. Documents of parliamentary debates, photographs from the Ghanaian railway archive, school notebooks, and public-school textbooks are juxtaposed with remnants of German and British railroad cars collected in Ghana.
Visitors will have active access to the archive material and a guided tour with the artist on April 15th at 5 pm will provide further insights to the pre- and post-independence period of Ghana and its global interconnections.