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UPCOMING


EXHIBITION AND PERFORMANCE PROJECT

THE INCANTATION OF THE DISQUIETING MUSE

On Divinity, Supra-Realities or the Exorcisement of Witchery

A project by SAVVY Contemporary and the Goethe-Institut South Africa

June 4 - August 7, 2016 | Thursdays-Sundays 2-7pm

Opening: June 3 | 7pm

SAVVY Contemporary | Plantagenstraße 31 | 13347 Berlin-Wedding

[ZUR DEUTSCHEN VERSION DER PROJEKTBESCHREIBUNG]

Opening: June 3 | 7pm

7-10pm: Live Performances by Ayrson Heraclito, Priscila Rezende and Buhlebezwe Siwani & Book Launch of African Futures

10.30pm: DJ-Sets by Spoek Mathambo and Mo Lateef

THE INCANTATION OF THE DISQUIETING MUSE deliberates around concepts of the supranatural beyond Western misconceptions – through an exhibition, performances, lectures, and other invocations. The project looks at how 'witchery' phenomena and practices manifest themselves within cultural, economical, political, religious and scientific spaces in Africa and beyond.

Curator: Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, Co-curator: Elena Agudio

Curator Performance Programme: Nathalie Mba Bikoro

EXHIBITION: June 4 - August 7, 2016 | Thursdays-Sundays 2-7pm Artists: Georges Adéagbo, Atis Rezistans, Sammy Baloji, Jean-Ulrick Désert, Haris Epaminonda, Em'kal Eyongakpa, Louis Henderson, Ayrson Heráclito, Dil Humphrey-Umezulike, Patricia Kaersenhout, Kiluanji Kia Henda, Vladimir Lucien, Marco Montiel-Soto, Emeka Ogboh, Priscila Rezende, Nassim Rouchiche, Georges Senga, Buhlebezwe Siwani, Andrew Tshabangu and Minnette Vári

INVOCATIONS: June 9 – 12, 2016 Speakers & Performers: Nora Adwan, Ayodele Arigbabu, The Bakol, Christian Botale Molebo, Erna Brodber, Lamin Fofana, Shirin Fahimi, Sasha Huber & Petri Saarikko, David Guy Kono, Vladimir Lucien, Seloua Luste Boulbina, Percy Mabandu, Olivier Marboeuf, Lêda Martins, Carlos Martiel, Achille Mbembe, Molemo Moiloa, Katrien Pype, Greg Tate, Angela Wachuka, Wanda Wyporska, Jason Young

The moth that enters

your house at night is a grudge

that somebody is holding

against you. It half-sits, bothered

by your light and the roof

over your head. It spreads

its small evening wherever

it lands, over the things

you love most. A dark tent

of dark intentions.

Vladimir Lucien, 'The Belief in Obeah'

Any deliberation on the 'future' necessitates a reflection on the past and the present. Otherwise, discourses around future(s) are bound to be escapist – intriguing from a far, but indeed far from intriguing. This project proposes looking at 'witchery', its idioms, proverbs, metaphors, symbols, chants and otherwise expressions as manifestations of cultural, economical, political, historical, medical, technological or scientific infrastructures on which parallel realities are built, and on which futures can be built. It will explore 'witchery' as an epistemological space and a medium of continuities between the African continent and its Diaspora.

Inadequately stressed are the aspects of witchcraft that emphasize interdependence and conviviality without obfuscating the individual or collective aspirations to dream, fantasize and explore new dimensions of being. A closer look at the everyday discourses and practices of Cameroonians suggests that witchcraft is about much more than just the dark side of humanity. As a multidimensional phenomenon, witchcraft is best studied as a process in which violent destruction and death are rare and extreme exceptions, employed mostly when all attempts at negotiating conviviality between the familiar and the undomesticated have been exhausted. Francis B. Nyamnjoh, 2005

Nomenclatures or evaluations whether 'witchcraft' is good or bad will not be of interest. The project intends to complexify by looking at the supranatural beyond Western scholarship and religion. The aim is to create new spaces of understanding through critical questions. The prism of art and discourse will be used to liberate 'witchcraft' from that space of the 'savage slot' in which it has been confined for centuries by ‘science’ and monotheistic religions.

With an exhibition and a series of invocations, artists, practitioners and researchers are invited to reflect on the following threads:

_ Pour en Finir avec le Jugement de Dieu. The Exorcisement of Witchery in Ritual

‘Thou shalt have no other gods before me’ – the biblical statement still condemns ritual practices non-conform with monotheistic religions. This exhibition chapter confronts ‘witchery’ from a religious and ritual point of view, in an effort to exorcize – not the spirits eminent to ‘witchery’ but the projections imposed upon ‘witchery’. Artaud’s Pour en Finir avec le Jugement de Dieu serves here as a metaphor of ‘witchery’ as refute, rebellion, queering against a religious and power adjudication as framed within colonial enterprises, and on the other hand ‘witchery’ as an epitome of and a consent to multiplicity of gods, deities or other supreme beings.

Artists: Georges Adéagbo, Haris Epaminonda, Georges Senga, Vladimir Lucien, Andrew Tshabangu

_ Beyond Abyssal Thinking. Witchery as Epistemology

‘Witchery’ practices encompass a wealth of knowledge systems while complex technological concepts like the 0/1-binary computer system are advanced ‘witchery’ for many. This chapter aims at going beyond abyssal thinking and epistemic blindness to explore other “ecologies of knowledge” (Boaventura de Souza Santos) and reflects on ‘witchery’ as knowledge production and dissemination, as epistemological systems.

Artists: Em’kal-Eyongakpa, Louis Henderson, Marco Montiel-Soto, Emeka Ogboh, Buhlebezwe Siwani, Minette Vari

_ Na who gi you for Nyongo? On Zombification Economies

This chapter deliberates on manifestations of 'witchery' from an economic perspective. Zombification, the act of sacrificing a human being for economic gain, is referred to as Ekong (Douala), Nyongo (Bakweri), Shipoko (Mozambique), Obasinjom (Banyangi) etc. It could be likened with Marx’ reflections on alienation as wage labour is an alienation of life: one works not in order to live, but in order to obtain a means of life whereby the capitalist owns the labour process. Such is the case with concepts of Nyongo etc. which take their cue from the inception of the capitalist system in the age of slavery.

Artists: Atis Rezistans, Sammy Baloji, Jean-Ulrick Désert, Dil Humphrey-Umezulike

_ we see am fo wata. On Supra-realities and Sociopolitics

Anecdotes, myths and other narratives on ‘witchery’ are omnipresent in many societies, especially in Africa. Be it political ranks, family relations, healing possibilities or power relations; be it in the way society is formed, ruled and protected; be it in literal, cinematic and folkloric expressions – these parallel realities form the backbone of socio-political structures. This is reflected in daily expressions. We see am fo wata (we saw it in water) is an answer to the question: How do you know? It infers the possibility of knowing something, acting, existing and expressing beyond the realm of reason. It is looking into the abyss of the unknown to find answers to questions that still have to be posed.

Artists: Kiluanji Kia Henda, Patricia Kaersenhout, Ayrson Heráclito, Priscila Rezende, Nassim Rouchiche

PLEASE FIND THE FULL CONCEPT HERE

[ZUR DEUTSCHEN VERSION DER PROJEKTBESCHREIBUNG]

THE INCANTATION OF THE DISQUIETING MUSE is part of the African Futures project initiated by the Goethe-Institut. The project is supported by the Goethe-Institut and the TURN Fund of the German Federal Arts Foundation. What might various African futures look like? How do artists and scholars imagine this future? What forms and narratives of science fictions have African artists developed? Who generates knowledge about Africa? And, what are the different languages we use to speak about Africa’s political, technological and cultural tomorrow? These were some of the questions addressed by the festival African Futures, initiated by the Goethe-Institut. Three concurrent interdisciplinary festivals in Johannesburg/South Africa, Lagos/Nigeria and Nairobi/Kenya in October 2015 explored the future, following potential narratives and artistic expression in literature, fine arts, performance, music, film, and digital formats. In 2016, African Futures will be continued in Berlin in partnership with SAVVY Contemporary. goethe.de/africanfutures


PERFORMANCE

URBAN TRAJECTORIES

New Live Performance & Artist Talk with Julie Djikey

Curated by Nathalie Mba Bikoro

May 25th 2016 | 6 pm

SAVVY Contemporary | Gerichtstraße 35 | 13347 Berlin-Wedding

A Qui La Faute? | Julie Djikey | 2013

Performance is a weapon, an armour to convey messages of social degradation through visual interpretations as a way of subversion and push shifts in everyday experience. Julie's work sharpens narratives of the state of ecologies and economic injustices that have so much affected the urban landscape in her home of Kinshasa. Julie believes that the body can be both subject and object in visual metamorphoses, a site for gathering and questioning, revealing current views of urban trajectories in imagining future landscapes.

Julie Djikey is a performance artist who addresses issues of sustainability and environment, the construction of social spaces and socio-cultural disparities within society. Djikey’s works question how biodegradability and recyclability, sustainable development and renewable energies impact our communities, influence subjectivities and various ecologies, as seen in her most prominent performance piece "Ozonisation". Her recent works reflect on human adaptations between traditions and modernities through the nuances of domesticity.

Julie Djikey was born in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, in 1987. Djikey has performed at l'Institut Français de Kinshasa (2012), "Ozonisation" Phase 2 at RAVY Festival Rencontres d'arts visuels de Yaoundé au Cameroun (2014), YANGO Biennale de Kinshasa (2014), "TI WAPI?" at ROND POINT MAGAZIN - Kinshasa RDC (2015), and "Ozonisation" in Hannover Germany (2015).

SAVVY Contemporary presents a new work by Julie exploring the feminist experience in urban traditions and will be followed by a public discussion panel together with Nathalie Mba Bikoro about art practices in urban visual fields to what could be considered altered Afro-Future terrains.

Nathalie Anguezomo Mba Bikoro is SAVVY Contemporary's curator of Performance Programmes.

Nathalie is a performance artist, curator an lecturer. Her curatorial focus reframes the contextualisation of creative multi-disciplinarity in visual practices through the process of collaboration with communities of the peripheries. Notably her curatorial projects include among many others Squat Museum in Libreville, Gabon; (2009); Hydra Radio Tamil Napu India (2015); Perpendicular in Brazil (2011); Performancear O Morir Norogachi Mexico (2014); ArtLab spaces for transiant digital Afro-Future arts London (2012); Au Hazard Balthazar in Bogota (2014) and Squat Monument in Berlin (2015).

She is an Associate Lecturer in Political Visual Cultures, Philosophy & Fine Arts. Her most recent significant contributions have been shown in Dak'art Biennale Senegal (2012); Smithsonian Museum of African Art Washington DC (2013); Tiwani Contemporary London (2012); Kalao Pan African Galleries Bilbao (2014); 798 Art District Gallery Beijing (2015); Museum of African Art Johannesburg (2011); Michael Stevenson Gallery Cape Town (2011); Tate Britain London (2009); Oxford Museum UK (2014); Bedfordbury Gallery London (2010); South London Gallery (2010).