Mahmoud Mfinanga on abstraction, architecture, Nike and eBay


Photographer Mahmoud Mfinanga: “eBay is still one of the purest places on the internet.”

“Throught helens” is a monthly series that puts the spotlight on the photographers who are the contributors to the wallpaper *.Here we explore the vision of Mahmoud’Mo’Mfinanga

Mahmoud’Mo’ Mfinanga was born in Detroit and is now a Brooklyn-based interdisciplinary artist. In particular, he founded Emmazed, a platform for community-led projects designed to empower artists and promote transparency. The June 2022 issue took us to a mysterious visual tour of Serena Williamsville, which was recently added to Nike’s World Headquarters in Oregon.

Here Mfinanga talks about abstractions, impacts, architecture, and eBay.

Wallpaper *: Please describe your style and process

Mahmood Muffinanga: My style is to apply abstract lenses to the materials and textures. Much of the work done through my platform, Emmazed, is focused on people, so there is no human dominance in the photo part of my practice. So, at least for now, in my photography I’m approaching it as a transcription of how to interpret objects and spaces, and their emotional volume. Much of my influence comes from improvisational realms like jazz. In jazz, there is a lasting dialogue with room for urgency and calm to collapse. So, visually, we want the process of manipulating the fuse to have such an impact within the scope of the photographic equipment.I’ve been practicing as a photographer for nearly 10 years and still deal with my relationship [photography] As a student, as long as I can say what my style or process was or was, it hasn’t been fully realized yet, but it’s probably always the case-the pursuit of a defined style and process.

W *: How did you approach the June 2022 story about the new Serena Williams Building at Nike headquarters?

Hmm: Hmm: My interest in architecture precedes my photography practice. So, in this study, the various usefulness and spiritual perceptions of the building were what we wanted to respect in this story. After a glimpse of what the building looks like, and the fact that it’s just over a million square feet, I thought I wouldn’t be able to fully provide how huge it is. But perhaps enough parts could be lensed in a space that conveys its visual language as a whole. It’s like how I sometimes attach a lens to a car. Different parts of the car form a series of vignettes that flatten the space hierarchy.

Above: Nike’s new Serena Williamsville’s consumer lab lobby captures Nike’s swoosh. Above: The tennis court available to all employees has been named East Compton Hills Country Club Tennis Court. This is in favor of the inner joke of the Williams family, known as the Community Tennis Court in Compton, California. club’

W *: What is the most interesting thing happening in photography right now?

Hmm: Hmm: “Most” is a tricky and absolute word, but one of the interesting things I’ve noticed [about photography] As a medium, it flattens so many oppressive mechanisms of communication. By convention, it has undergone a sort of cultural adolescence or negotiation. It’s a younger artistic medium compared to others, and I think there are many ways people can revoke old-fashioned rules and write new ones, but we are in honor of interrupting thoughts and actions. .. Many practitioners are planting and planting, so it will be interesting to see what kind of forest is born from the seeds. It’s one of the many interesting things that’s happening in photography right now, and this dance of patience and practice. But there is a lack of harmony in our practices that I am concerned about. Perhaps this lack of harmony may be due to the lack of the principle that many are not privileged or authorized to perform.

Photography as a practice flirts with what kind of liberation looks like in different “cities”, but to support a practitioner with the ability of a “mayor” to change the structure of this young practice. Not enough system yet. So the possibility of doing that, the journey is very interesting to me, it’s naive to say that there have been fundamental changes during the pandemic, but hopefully soon in the next decade.

W *: What’s on your radar?

Hmm: Hmm: I think what I was interested in was to disperse anthropological curiosity about photography and place it in other domains such as modal jazz, Detroit techno, social rights, music such as architecture. .. But to keep it a reality, one of the most exciting things on my radar is my eBay watchlist. Thankfully, eBay is still one of the purest places on the internet, and you’re crazy about vintage lamps, lighters, tableware, books, and more for hours. God blesses the place.

Cupertino, 2019

W *: What’s next this year?

Hmm: Hmm: I have really cherished the power of comfort and the space that allows it to rekindle me and realize what my desires in life are. What fills me and what doesn’t.I think it’s not just this year, but every year in the future [I will] Look for fragments of peace that can collectively enable me, the people I appreciate and respect, to be healed from many disadvantages in our practice and life. Because what affects me, to some extent, also affects my friends and people of my time.

Now that we’ve reached the crossroads of curiosity we want to achieve, we’re carefully working towards taking Emmazed next. But until then, I’ve stayed low and more deliberate about what and who to match. I’m so grateful to share the space with people I already admire, so I’ve already speeded up so many parts of my life, so meet other people and find new neighborhoods I’m not in a hurry now because I had little time given for myself. Again, this year’s and subsequent projects aim to maintain my energy for projects that will not be seen in the next 1, 5, or 15 years. A project that requires patience and graceful life. §



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