Dusasa I

El Anatsui2007

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Dusasa I was created from recycled liquor-bottle tops that have been flattened and stitched together using copper wire. Working with the metal shapes, El Anatsui allows the materials and colors to suggest the composition.

The artist's use of liquor-bottle tops acknowledges both the historical role of liquor as a commodity traded by colonial powers for slaves and its ritual use as a libation, when it is poured as a form of prayer. The colors and forms of Dusasa I relate to kente cloth, an African textile made by the Asante and Ewe peoples of Ghana. Examples of kente cloth are on view in gallery L9. The title Dusasa comes from Ewe words, du and sasa, meaning a fusion of disparate elements on a monumental scale.

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