In this work, Mabunda presents a standing figure created from decommissioned recovered weaponry and military equipment-leftovers from the country’s 16-year-long civil war.
Aside from having a very strong aesthetic value, Mabunda’s work serves a practical purpose: removing weapons from circulation and rendering them inoperable. “The work - says Mabunda - is trying to represent each [person] who died with this same material.”... “If we destroy the weapons, the same weapon's not going to kill anymore”. (Tim Hume, “Artist creates objects of beauty from instruments of death”, CNN Africa, 22 March 2012)
The sculpture holds an intrinsic contrast: on one hand, it is whimsical and full of joy, on the other hand, they evoke a sense of ferocity and sadness. This very dissonance explains Mabunda's language: remembering the victims of this tragedy with a hopeful and almost naive touch, which delivers to its audience a very strong message of life and peace.
Lempertz, Modern and Contemporary Art, June 20, 2020, Lot:340, Object 396056
Bonhams, London, UK