Shinique Smith’s Bundle of Fabric Explores the Global Path of Consumption

Brooklyn, NEW YORK—This is not just lumpy pile of fabric; It is an exploration of American consumption. The sculpture is composed of clothes, stuffed toys and bundles of fabric belonging to Shinique Smith and her friends.

Born in Baltimore, Smith is a Brooklyn-based multi-media artist whose work includes sculpture, works on paper, and site-specific installations. She was inspired to create “Mitumba Diety” by a film that tracks the path of a donated t-shirt from New York to a small African village (possibly “T-shirt Travels”?).

The name of the sculpture references the global economy and the cycle of second-hand clothing from prosperous societies to the world’s poorest communities. Swahili for “bundle,” Mitumba refers to these bulk donations.

The sculpture is on view at the Brooklyn Museum, where it is a part of its permanent collection.

“Mitumba Diety,” 2005 (fabric, clothing, twine and cardboard).

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