Wangechi Mutu on failure via Art 21
"In a sense, failure is a tail that’s chasing me. I’m running away from it, but it’s attached to me. It helps me project myself forward. It keeps me from looking backwards too much. At the same time, my work has grown bigger and moved further than I thought it would because I make mistakes along the way. For example, I’ve been making collages for years, but something will happen in the process of making a new body of work, and it will seem to ruin a piece. Sometimes it’s from over-flowing ink or over-spraying a section, basically doing something I didn’t mean to do, that forces me to look for a new trajectory, a new solution. I really do believe that embedded in a mistake is the next new idea, which is to me a metaphor for life and for death. That thing that kills a piece will grant life to another body of work. And the longer you live, the closer you come to dying, and the more you have to keep generating new ideas and new reasons to be here, to be useful, to be important, to be a living being."
Image: Wangechi Mutu, Once upon a time she said, I’m not afraid and her enemies began to fear her The End, 2013; site-specific installation; dimensions variable. Courtesy the Brooklyn Museum