It could be a high-concept movie: The aliens are coming, and they’ll be landing on that bastion of Western civilization, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art—on September 9, to be precise. Four six-and-a-half-to-seven-foot-tall bronze female figures—part African queens, part cyborgs—will take up position in the building’s exterior niches facing Fifth Avenue that have stood empty for more than 100 years. The sculptures are the work of the Kenyan-born artist Wangechi Mutu, and this homecoming, if you can call it that, carries all manner of poignant historical, political, and redemptive narratives along with it. An institution founded on the appropriation of antiquities and a Eurocentric view of culture is being turned on its head.
Image: Portrait of Wangechi Mutu with work in progress commissioned by the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University at Modern Art Foundry, Astoria, NY.