The Myth of Eternal Life (2020–2022)

Zohra Opoku
Chapter I: ‘Hail to you, lords of truth, free from wrongdoing, who exist forever and forever. I have reached you because I am an akh with my forms. I am powerful through my magic.’
From ‘The Myth of Eternal Life’, 2020–2022 Fabric and bronze
23 x 10 x 7 cm (hand), 19 x 16 x 7 cm
(face), 66 x 69 x 23 cm (pillow)
Title from Chapter 72, An Egyptian Book of the Dead: The Papyrus of Sobekmose Marieluise Hessel Collection, Hessel Museum of Art, Bard College, Annandale-on- Hudson, USA


Zohra Opoku traces the politics of personal identity from a critical perspective informed by historical, cultural and socioeconomic influences in contemporary Ghana. The installation The Myth of Eternal Life (2020–2022) examines healing customs, funerary culture and the afterlife. Experimenting with processes of natural dyeing, screen printing, weaving and embroidering, Opoku tracks the complex evolution of her own relationship to death. Based on An Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead: The Papyrus of Sobekmose, the evocative sequence of mythical landscapes staged in the installation mirrors the progression of the ancient papyrus and the purpose of West African burial customs, meant to ease the transition from earthbound existence to celestial ascendance.