Dear Kudjoe,

how are things in good old Ghana? I hope your business is going well, even if that does require a certain amount of fellow citizens passing away.

I am just about to open an exhibition in Frankfurt on the theme of coffins and urns, and thus wanted to write you a short letter to let you know once more how inspiring my “internship” with you was, and that I am still very impressed by the work you are doing. As it turns out, my art dealer Philipp Pflug began his career in the undertaker business, too – he has always very much liked the idea of showing funeral accessories in his space one day.

As I told you, the aesthetics of coffins in the western hemisphere are rather old fashioned, which was one of the reasons why I came to work with and learn from you. My exhibition, dedicated to you, Mr. Kudjoe Affutu, aims to provide a breath of fresh air to our thinking about the types of caskets we bury our loved ones in. As an artist it is also my duty to visualize and describe the experiences I had in the special place that is Awutu Bereku, a destination frequented by only very few Obronis.

The seven works I am showing shall not aim to copy your art works, and neither am I going to work in the undertaker business in the future: However, I think it is important to raise awareness of your art form, which many of the people I spoke to here had not heard of before. In a parallel to your work, mine also in a sense deals with symbols, labour and everyday objects: I just try to spice things up with irony, even a hint of sarcasm, as this fits my artistic language – yet without trying to produce a cheap imitation of your visual vocabulary.

As we both remember, my father passed away shortly after I arrived at your place, which made things a bit more difficult for me than they should have been. I feel like planning and producing this exhibition over the last one and a half years has helped me greatly in dealing with his loss. I still remember joking with my dad about what his coffin could look like, just a few days before I left for Ghana.

I really hope your family is doing very well: Please do say hello to everyone I know. I hope to visit you soon, as my Bereku-Fante language skills are fading. I miss you guys.

Warm regards,

Martin (Kweku)


  • PPC Philipp Pflug Contemporary's Exhibitions 17

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