Claire Dorn 16 A1033 copie km8 L Sv

The Memory of Love

Ibrahim Mahama

26.04.2022 | 07.05.2022
Pièce Unique

MASSIMODECARLO Pièce Unique is delighted to present The memory of love by Ibrahim Mahama. This new site-specific work is composed of a wooden door frame and waxed cotton fabrics gathered by Mahama over the years (2014 – 2022) all meticulously arranged across the door’s structure.

The door frames are reminiscent of Mahama’s first attempt to build the Savanah Center for Contemporary Art – SCCA in Tamale, Ghana, in 2014, initially destroyed by a monsoon shortly after its first opening.

The densely patterned, colourful cotton fabrics, traded by Mahama in markets across Ghana are stitched together and integrated to the door’s structure. Today Dutch wax cloth has become synonymous with African design and culture, but its history is intricately tied to 19th Century Dutch colonial trade routes.

The memory of love is a very personal representation of the artist’s experience of failure: closing one door and failing is necessary to open a new one to succeed: with The memory of love Mahama transforms the door to make it the starting point for a new framework, symbolizing a new beginning in his practice.

Ibrahim Mahama lives and works between Accra, Kumasi and Tamale in Ghana. Mahama’s work is resolutely anchored - and widely nurtured - by his Ghanaian experience. His work addresses notions of commodity, migration, globalization and economic exchange. He has made found materials, wood and jute sacks taken directly from his local urban environments the cornerstones of his practice. They are direct references to Ghana’s trade market and monetary circuits of exchange, exploitation, and globalization.

Over the years, his monumental site-specific installations have been presented in Milan, Venice and Sydney.

Mahama’s recent group exhibitions include NIRIN 22nd Biennale of Sydney (2020); 58th and 56thVenice Biennale (2019 and 2015); and Documenta 14 (2015). Solo exhibitions include ‘Parliament of Ghosts’, The Whitworth/Manchester International Festival, UK (2019); ‘Labour of Many’, Norval Foundation, Cape Town (2019); and ‘Fracture’, Tel Aviv Art Museum (2016). In 2019, Mahama opened the artist-run exhibition space Savannah Centre for Contemporary Art (SCCA) in Tamale, followed by the launch of the studio/research facility Red Clay in 2020. In 2021, Mahama launched Nkrumah Volini, a cultural and educational institution housed in a converted grain silo which extends the activities of SCCA and Red Clay.

SCCA is an ambitious, multidisciplinary and deeply utopian center for contemporary art is dedicated to the promotion of creation and exchange in a multidisciplinary context, open to all.


Ibrahim Mahama
Tamale, Ghana, 1987. Lives and works in Tamale, Ghana.