*Imagination creates the
situation, and, then, the
It may, of course,
be the other way around:
Columbus was discovered
by what he found.
James Baldwin, Imagination
Introduction by Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung
The stories of the European explorers who charted the world from the early 14th to the 19th century during
Epilogue by Pauline Doutreluingne
Excerpt from James Baldwin, Conundrum
*Poems by James Baldwin excerpted from JIMMY’S BLUES AND OTHER POEMS, © 2014 by the James Baldwin Estate. Used by permission.
- About the artists
John Akomfrah is a hugely respected artist and filmmaker, whose works are characterized by their investigations into memory, post-colonialism and temporality. He often explores the experience of the African diaspora in Europe and the USA.
Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc devotes his focus to the cultural hegemonies upon which the evolution of contemporary societies is based. Through video, photography and installations, he explores the principles behind the dominant presence of pre-existing elements and events - notably those linked to imperial and colonial history.
Jean-Pierre Bekolo is the most daring Cameroonian filmmaker and artist. Bekolo radically questions and deconstructs the notions, processes and perceptions of both film- and exhibition-making. For this project he will present a new film installation called Our Wishes.
Melanie Bonajo is a photographer, filmmaker and performance artist. In her work she searches for headstrong paths in an ultra-capitalist and increasingly sterile, technological world, and resists the traditional division between humans, nature and technology. She will produce a new video piece entitled Progress vs Sunsets - Re-formulating the Nature Documentary.
Combining documentary and subjective viewpoints, Filipa César's films are concerned with the relationship between history, memory, image and narrative. Their freedom of tone and form is reminiscent of the form of the cinematic essay, in which the image serves as a starting point for open narratives, developed like a stream of thought.
Cooperativa Cráter Invertido is a creative community that emerges from continuous making. Based in Mexico City, the collective seeks for collective answers and actions by developing modes of autonomization and reflection about political emancipation.
Ines Doujak works with colours, movement, texts and sound. John Barker is a novelist and writes political essays. They share a common interest in the political dimension of cultural exchanges.
Viron Erol Vert's artistic interest in myths, legends, faith systems, cultural identity and linguistic experience but also his personal history and multicultural background play a key role in the layout of his research process. The Project „Of Part and Loaf“ puts the Mediterranean in the centre of a complex artistic confrontation in which the ambivalent historic and contemporary aspects of this geographic area are investigated.
Ho Rui An is an artist and writer working in the intersections of contemporary art, cinema, performance and theory. He writes, talks and thinks around images, with an interest in investigating their emergence, transmission and disappearance within contexts of globalism and governance.
Marco Montiel-Soto, himself a traveller and an immigrant, constantly finds himself returning; Returning to his home of Maracaibo, Venezuela or from there returning to his chosen home of Berlin. The starting point and goal of his journey becomes imaginary, those are the artist’s dream locations that melt into one another.
Dineo Seshee Bopape is a South African artist, combining a digital and analogue aesthetic, as well as natural and synthetic elements such as plants, wood, mirrors, and video monitors, to engage with powerful socio-political notions of memory, relationships and representation.
Through the photographic layering of histories, Nigerian photographer Abraham Oghobase creates an alternate, fictitious reality asking in the framework of this project: what if Austria had colonized Nigeria? The project reflects on what was and what is (history and present day actualities) while asking what could have been (imagined realities).
Ahmet Ögüt will revisit his existing work Black Diamond for which he fills the museum space with a mountain of coal and buries a little piece of the Leopold museum in the mountain he creates. This "museum piece" will be removed from a wall inside the museum and is there replaced by a valuable diamond.
Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa’s practice is rooted in folklore and dreams, conspiracy theories, ancient mythologies and magic. His absurd and humorous approach colours many of his sculptures, performances and works on paper.
Pascale Marthine Tayou’s works not only mediate between cultures but are also produced in the knowledge that they are social, cultural, or political constructions. His work is always closely linked to the idea of travel and of coming into contact with what is other to self. Tayou’s objects, sculptures, installations and drawings dwell upon an individual moving through the world and exploring the issue of the global village.
OPAVIVARÁ!, art collective from Rio de Janeiro, develops actions in public spaces of cities, galleries and cultural institutions, proposing inversions in the use of urban space, through the creation of relational devices that provide collective experiences.
- About the curators
Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, PhD is an independent curator and biotechnologist. He is curator at large of documenta 14 and the founding director of SAVVY Contemporary, Berlin and Editor-in-Chief of SAVVY, a journal for critical texts.
Pauline Doutreluingne is an independent curator and Sinologist. Recent exhibition projects include Agency of Living Organisms at Tabakalera, San Sebastian, Spain and The Next Big Thing is Not a Thing at NAiM/Bureau Europa (Maastricht, NL).
- Programme Lectures and Performances
Opening day Thursday, May 18
6pm–Welcome and introductory speech by Bonaventure Ndikung and Pauline Doutreluingne
8pm–Opening The Conundrum of Imagination
8.30pm–Dineo Seshee Bopape: … despots, revolution, heroines, spies, martyrs, sellouts, the people, them, us, democracy, heathens, believers, history, History, THE land, revolu-tionaries, rebels, oil, gold, diamonds, maize, trucks, trains, missionaries, dogs, horses, sugar, gods/God(s), activists, uhuru, el pueblo, batho, de volk, abantu, ang mga tao, watu … (Performance)
Friday, May 19
7.30pm–Ho Rui An: Solar: A Meltdown (Lecture Performance)
This production has been generously supported by the National Arts Council Singapore.
Saturday, May 20
4pm–Ahmet Ögüt: In search of museum inside the museum (Lecture)
Together with the guests, Ahmet Ögüt will follow the cryptic directions in the museum in his search for the diamond, while speaking about a selection of his works and references.
5pm–Ines Doujak, John Barker and Lukas Goldmann: Skins (Performance)
A performance journey that moves in and out of skin in the original colonial encounter. The realities and aesthetics are those of Europe itself, of the “New World” and of Africa, as the encounter and the exploitation that followed demanded slaves. It involves different notions of ideologies of contamination, non-professional empirical knowledge, hunger and poverty, attitudes to surface appearance, nakedness, and the highways and byways of racism.
Sunday, May 21
6.30pm–Cooperativa Cráter Invertido: Kamsamida kamsamida – A Walk in the Darkness (Performance)
7.30pm–Abraham Onoriode Oghobase: What if Austria had colonised Nigeria? (Lecture)
Thursday, May 25
8pm–Marco Montiel-Soto: Expedition on a Permanent Storm (Lecture)
9pm–Viron Erol Vert: Dreamatory Live drawing session with musician Hanno Hinkelbein (Performance)
Live drawing session with musician Hanno Hinkelbein. Viron Erol Vert makes live drawings of dreams as an act of/for unconscious political resistance.
Friday, May 26
8pm–Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa: Bird séance (Performance)
A séance held by the artist to communicate with extinct birds, giving voice to their songs in the form of long, cooing vowel sounds. The audience become participants in the bird séance.
9pm–Matrix Botanica: Pilgrimage with the Animals (Music Performance)
Saturday, May 27
8pm–Jean-Pierre Bekolo: Our Wishes (Lecture)
9pm–Filipa César & Louis Henderson: Op-film: A critical archaeology of optical technologies from the lighthouse to the GPS (Lecture)
Sunday, May 28
8pm–John Akomfrah: Of Time and the City: An illustrated talk about Akomfrah’s recent work (Lecture)
OPAVIVARÁ! will present TUPYCOLÉ, an indulging, tasting, fleshy and anthropophagical performance intervention at different locations in the city.
A performative exhibition commissioned by Wiener Festwochen
in cooperation with the Leopold Museum