Studio visit with Maurice Mbikayi:
Perhaps the literary nerd in all of us automatically connects skulls to Shakespeare or iterations of Hamlet just never cease but African conceptual artist Maurice Mbikayi spins the old interpretation on its head (figuratively speaking).
Mbikayi’s artist statement reveals that his main purpose is to connect history with a technological shift in his country. How has African evolved in the past handful of decades with increased technological dependence and who benefits from it? How accessible is technology in a place with such turmoil from both internal and external factors?
These skulls are comprised of keys from a computer keyboard. Is death the ultimate cost of technology’s impact on people in a certain place? Or is Mbikayi foreshadowing the demise of all people at the very hands of technology? And whose hands control it? Delving into socio-political and economic factors in his work, Mbikayi is cleverly asserting a universal argument for humanity.
By Sarah MacDonald