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T. Eliott Mansa: ‘Room for the living / Room for the dead’
29 November 2022 – 4 February 2023
Consider the sunken living room, that relic of the 1970s. T. Eliott Mansa might imagine its proximity to the earth – you must descend to enter it – a shortcut to fostering a connection with the spirit world. Memory is a foundation of Mansa’s practice: he uses assemblage and sculpture to create monuments and memorials. In ‘Room for the living / Room for the dead’, Mansa draws on his memories of his family’s conversation pit and transforms the room into a kind of altar: a space for those no longer living. Visitors enter a living room with walls painted Haint blue; as so often in his work, Mansa incorporates Caribbean, Southern, and West African religious traditions: the room is centered around a sculptural shelf modeled after the Dikenga Cosmogram, a symbol belonging to the cosmology of the West-Central African Bântu-Kôngo people, which is decorated with images of Mansa’s loved ones. Visitors are invited to lounge, play dominoes and leave offerings to their own ancestors.