Sculptor Gonçalo Mabunda, has worked on a series of thrones for a number of years, of which “www.crise.com” and “Harmony Chair” are two examples.
In his Maputo workshop, Mabunda collects scrap metal and recycles weapons used during the fifteen-year-long Mozambican Civil War, welding them to form sculptural seats and giving them a new shape and meaning. Rifles become seat backs, rocket launchers become legs, rifle butts and cartridges become arm supports, and bullet casings and pistols become a seat or a decorative accent. Mabunda, whose childhood and youth were shaped by the horrors of war, uses the throne element to refer to a traditional symbol of power of African tribal leaders, which is today much sought after by western art collectors. The thrones also stand for the ominous interplay between legal and illegal arms deals, national and international interests and regional conflicts. While embodying Mabunda’s explicit criticism of African military regimes and their violent ruling, these thrones are not only a symbol of horror, seeking to spark a positive reflection on the transformative power of art and the resistance and creativity of African civil societies.
“www.crise.com” is available for all European venues
“Harmony Chair” is available for US venues only