Fold Crumple Crush
(2011, dir. Susan Vogel, 53 mins., USA/Ghana)
Filmed over three years in Venice, Nsukka, and the US, this is a powerful portrait of Africa's most widely acclaimed contemporary artist El Anatsui. The film offers an insider's view of the artist's practice that includes thousands of hours of labor converting used bottle tops into huge, opulent wall hangings -- artworks that speak of African history but reach for the ethereal. Behind the charming, easy-going artist we discover a man who remains mysterious even to his dearest friends. We see the celebrated artist installing work on the great world stage of the Venice Biennale; we follow him back to the small town of Nsukka as he goes about his daily life, watch him inside the hive of his studio, and hear him discuss his future aspirations. See Anatsui’s work on view in the IMA’s Contemporary Galleries.