Massa Lemu

bio

cv

projects

 


Row 2 focuses on the aesthetic transformations of the Malawian dugout canoe due to its long exposure to natural elements and also due to repair. In time, the rotting dugout canoe, which is made by hollowing out a single tree trunk, accumulates layers of paint, tar, recycled felt, metal, and plastic in repair processes. USAID oil tin cans; vegetable oil plastic jelly cans from Malawi’s neighbor Mozambique; rubber recycled from burnt rubber tires; and reused felt from Chiperoni blankets. These various materials, which are used to seal the rotting dugouts, eventually seem to almost replace the original wood. The dugout is thus beautifully textural and richly textual. Read this way, the dugout is a complex artefact of contemporaneity charting the dynamics of capitalism in its margins. The sculptural and performative work in Row seeks to mine these histories in art making processes which centralize collaboration, play, bricolage, and reuse. Collective production is central in the art making process, stimulating conversations and exchange between a professional photographer, writer, and artists, and the local fishermen and women of Senga Bay, Salima district of Malawi.

​​​