Cyrus Kabiru: Serie C-Stunners

Cyrus Kabiru, Njia Ya Maisha, Macho Nne: Maona Chuma, 2016

The artist Cyrus Kabiru works with found-material for his sculptures; evidencing intricate, handmade eye-wear and self-portrait photographs, as well as complex bicycle-like constructions. The meticulous assemblages are fashioned from urban debris and discarded or obsolete technology that are carefully selected and imaginatively re-contextualised. In the accompanying photographs, it is always the artist himself, wearing his creations, as if continuing his observation of everyday life from an extraordinary position. In these photographic self-portraits, Kabiru’s own face and body animates and authenticates the work. The wearer of these C-Stunners, as he calls them, is both a bespectacled visionary and “blinkered” by the charms of consumer culture. In their materiality, these mask-like glasses are products of, and reflective upon, a world where identities are forged through the buying and discarding of commodities.

Kabiru’s picture Njia Ya Maisha, Macho Nne: Maona Chuma is from his C-Stunners series. Its futuristic vision based on analog technology as well as the observational stance of the picture correspond with the questions that the Find the File festival poses: What happens to analog music collections in the course of digitizing the world? Who profits from it? Who decides what will be preserved and selected; what do archives represent? And who has access to it?

Cyrus Kabiru was born in Nairobi, Kenya, where he currently lives and works. He is a self-taught sculptor, who has exhibited frequently both internationally and on the African Continent. Kabiru has actively been pushing the boundaries of conventional craftsmanship, sculpture, fashion, design, art and photography since 2011. His practice straddles genres of fine art, haute couture, performance, and documentary. His artwork embodies his experience of life in contemporary cities on the African Continent.