Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Makode Linde

Forget Damien Hirst, this is actually interesting.  A cake that draws attention to genital mutilation.  And the the Swedish culture minister's participation as a stand in for colonial power.  Makode Linde is doing some provocative stuff.  Hirst's fascination with the macabre looks like solipsistic indulgence by comparison.  Oughtn't art in fact mean something? 


  1. Wow! I want a cake like that! Talk about mutilation.

  2. This goes a lot deeper than simply the creation, destruction, and consumption of the "cake".

    Linde is very interesting and his work is provocative to prove a point, as female genital mutilation and circumcision is done for non-medical reasons, with blunt knives not surgical tools in non-sterile environments. Most often, it causes severe injury and ongoing infections that last a life time.

    Not only are the young girls forced to have the procedure, they will also be unable to ever enjoy most or any stimulation in a sexual relationship, making this much different than male circumcision that is performed around the globe, which is done for cultural and medical reasons. Male circumcision does not involve mutilation or full removal of pleasure organs. Oftentimes, this leaves just a fused wound for which urine and menstrual blood can pass, and the wound is only cut open for intercourse or child birth!

    Makode Linde's work is brilliant, and i feel that more attention needs to be brought to this horrible practice, which in some nations/tribes also involves breast ironing and other barbaric practices that keep women as inferior objects used simply for procreation and house-hold work, and it causes unacceptable physical disfigurement and emotional pain that lasts a lifetime.

    I can't wait to explore more of Linde's work!

  3. This image is so disturbing and horribly racist. The artist truly represented in a wonderfully provocative way the mutilation of the woman in Africa.

  4. This topic has been frequently discussed in the news, books, tv, and movies. I think it does need to be seen in its own context, but for such a serious subject the festive atmosphere depicted in the photograph sends conflicting messages. It is a provocative and strong piece and the symbolism was fascinating. I think he is correct about the different slave trade history Sweden has, but this is referencing African genital mutilation. An interview with some African women about this piece would be interesting.

  5. I have been discussing this very thing in a fb art discussion group. I read it with the lead in from an article in The Mirror decrying the piece as racist and questioning the competence for participating in the spectacle.

    I must admit that the particular way the event unfolded was somewhat disturbing for me. I could not entirely get rid of the unsettling feeling I had seeing everyone laugh while the cake was cut. It made me question their mindset in those moments. Perhaps it was racist, perhaps it was not, either way it does open the conversation on race, cultural heritage, colonialism, and especially female mutilation.

    This is an extremely provocative piece that I am going to consider with much more depth.

    What a bummer I was sick yesterday, I was really looking forward to discussing this work in particular.