Press Release by Desert X
The Wishing Well is a sculptural installation of large-scale cubes draped with sheets of woven pieces of yellow plastic Kufuor gallons used to transport water in Ghana. Transforming a public park into a destination, The Wishing Well refers to the wells to which many people around the world must trek daily to access water. Europeans introduced Kufuor gallons, or jerrycans, to the people of Ghana to transport cooking oil. As repurposed relics of the colonial project, they serve as a constant reminder of the legacies of empire and of global movements for environmental justice. Sited in the Coachella Valley, whose future is deeply dependent on water, The Wishing Well creates a dialogue about our shared tomorrow.
Serge Attukwei Clottey (Accra, Ghana, 1985) explores the sociopolitical, economic, environmental, and cultural legacies of the colonial project in Africa. Using yellow plastic jerrycans known as Kufuor gallons, he creates sculptures, installations, and performances that speak to histories of colonial pillaging and its effects on trade and migration. These gallons function as material and a striking symbol in Attukwei Clottey’s practice: a reminder of the way violent pasts manifest in the everyday.