Wangechi Mutu’s Mask draws provocative comparison between archaeology and sexual fetishism. Pasted over the photo of a museum relic, her saucy model becomes a temptress of caricatured exotica. Encasing the woman’s body and face in a cut out of a voodoo sculpture, Mutu envelops her cover girl as a product of typecast desire and roleplay: warrior-princess, s&m freak, chastity-belted virgin. Overlapping the controversial facets of cultural association, Mutu’s figure beacons as a subversive dominatrix, shrewdly co-opting the rules of hierarchy, power, and manipulation.

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