Katie Bethune-Leamen
'The Ghost of Tupac Amaru Shakur Attended by an Eames Polypropylene Eiffel Base Shell Chair and a Phalanx of Amantia Pantherina Mushrooms'
2008
laser cut plexi
I made this piece for the Convenience Gallery, and here's what I wrote for their press about it: In the work 'The Ghost of Tupac Amaru Shakur Attended by an Eames Polypropylene Eiffel Base Shell Chair and a Phalanx of Amanita Pantherina Mushrooms' (2008), laser cut Plexiglas images of the three titular elements are brought together; surrounding slain rapper Tupac Shakur like a coterie of spectres, transparent representations of a reissued classic Modern chair, and outlines of a common, yet poisonous mushroom extend and contextualise Shakur’s representation. One of hip-hop’s greatest stars, since his murder Shakur has been developed and promulgated as a martyr of sorts; insistently intelligent, sexual, and charismatic, Tupac lives-on in posthumously released albums, and relentless waves of hip-hop tchotchke, including sparkly t-shirts, cheap bling and blankets. By their nature, mushrooms can stand in for the circulation of cultural information, and here appear as a proposal for the understanding of these elements as overlapping; the rhyzomatic is augmented to the mycorrhizomatic.
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