DIRTY HANDS, CLEAN MONEY

SOLO EXHIBITION

JOHN VUSI MFUPI

28th – July 23rd August 2022

Curated by Candice Berman

 

Having dirty hands is a metaphor for working hard. Someone who does this has clean money, compared to money that has been embezz led or
acquired in another illegal or immoral way.
The focus of the exhibition is on the importance of working without being judgemental. The worker is the backbone of a society for without him or her nothing would get produced, no streets cleaned, no parks and public spaces maintained, no food produced and no wood. The majority of office staff, civil servants, bankers and such like we could well do without, but we cannot do without the worker, the farmer and the forester . Neither, I know, can we do without doctors and nurses, and the cleaners in hospitals. Nor without the carers for the elderly and the sick. But most of those would fall under the term of worker anyway and thus are covered.
There are schools, nowadays, and I guess they have always been, who teach the kids that they should not aspire to the “low” jobs of working with their hands with terms such as “you are better than that”, or “we”, referring in that case to the entire school, “we are better than that”. I wonder what they think would happen if there would be no refuse workers, no street cleaners, and such like. For one they would be drowning in their own garbage that they create on a daily basis , not to think about the other things that would not happen would those workers not be there.
My work has always been a celebration of youth and mobility, women and now a worker. On this show I have introduced a new symbol and stands out in each piece. The bike has been the first step into mobility for many millions of people. In a developing world context, acquiring a bike can be
transformative new opportunities.
JVM 2022