A DOOR AJAR, SINGING

Exhibition text written by Shimmer Rotterdam

"A Door Ajar, Singing is an expanded group exhibition featuring 6 artists whose artworks connect to entrances and exits in the broadest sense. Joining us over the following months are (in order of appearance) Alexandra Phillips, Lee Kit, Ayo, Melvin Moti, Jo-ey Tang, and Charlotte Posenenske.

We are inspired by the power of artmaking and curating. How it enables us to enter into an encounter, make an individual decision collectively, and when to exit. Exits are just as crucial as entries, as it gives space for someone else to enter and then move on. A Door Ajar, Singing celebrates the deeply connected materiality that communicates over thresholds through different physicalities and temporalities. We hover at the door left ajar, be uplifted by the autumn leaf, replay the voice message, cast ourselves over and over again in material, attend to a memory of land and country, and meditate through repetitive action. We find ways to connect. We let go. Come back. Back and forth. To and fro. Exhale. Sing. Always singing."

 

Photo: Jhoeko

 

ELDERS, SHADES & HEALERS

​Currently on view at Artphy in the group exhibition, HEKS (Witches)

 

This work questions the violence contained in the

archival image through the omission of personal stories of unofficial bodies.

In this constellation, the collages and videos are reconstructions of archival images of unknown young East African women, photographed by European christian missionaries during the Victorian era.  Consequently, the work endeavours to give space for acknowledging the erasure of indigenous healing practices embodied by East African female healers. 

The sculpture --  formally inspired by the shape of Cuscuta europaea (Dodder), is a parasitic and/or medicinal plant depending on the bodies of knowledge growing it. For example; in North Africa and the Eastern Himalayas, this plant is used to treat Hepatic diseases where in Europe and North America, it is more commonly associated with its parasitic nature.

 

UNFAIR22 AMSTERDAM


 

 "Bigger than ever, this sixth edition of Unfair presented new works by more than 40 up-and-coming and renowned artists across a historic 2500m2 venue. UNFAIR22 offered visitors a unique opportunity to buy works directly from the artist in a brand new atmospheric scenography, alongside an extensive public program."

Singing Off Key, Video, approximately 13 minutes

Vulgar vagabonds, Sculpture, (Clay, Epoxy resin & Pigment) , variable dimensions 

Handwritten text on paper

Photo collage 

​SINGING OFF-KEY

Currently on view at Singular Art Gallery
 

This is a semi-biographical and anthological film in which I try to make tangible, the obscure feeling of displacement in the diaspora. At a certain point in a life, to feel alive, one struggles to reconcile the formative self with the present self. This internal state of constant negotiation, haunts. It’s like forgetting the voice of someone you once knew so well. And so we sing, off-key.

Contact for video preview.

*made with

Dorothee Munyaneza

Odile Coulange

Akello Jackie

supported by Mondriaan Funds

ATELIERS PORTES OUVERTES
 

Triangle-Asterides, Marseilles, FR

2021

ODERO & THE WEEPING TOTEM
 

Material Context, Het Archief, Rotterdam, 2021

 

Installation overview: Hand dyed textile, latex, wood, HD video on 2 monitors, 2D framed work

Photo credit: Studio Wolphi & Ayo

IKOCE

2020

supported by African Culture Fund

This is a research project investigating the archival capacity of unofficial bodies in preserving intangible cultural heritage. In its form and content, the project  navigates how such ephemeral embodied knowledge can nourish a contemporary artistic practice. The title was borrowed from the cultural practice of Ikoce; which through my research, historically functioned as entertainment, social commentary and cultural emblem for Lango society in Northern Uganda.

 

The relevance of Ikoce’s cultural-social-political legacy to Ugandan history and wider geographies was unpacked in my thesis, Symbolic Resonance —written in an experimental mode of fictional storytelling drawn from anthropological publications, oral poetry and field research among other sources. 

In a speculative mode of address, I looked into Ikoce’s organisation, performance attire and oral poetry; proposing its formation as a transgressive act of resistance against the heavy drafting of Lango men into the King’s African Rifles; to fight for the British Empire during World War II.

The out come of my research manifested into video work, sculpture, sound and performance. In my video work Ikoce: Volume I, I employ an experimental montage and narration to collapse the boundaries of fact and fiction while attempting to humorously tap into the memory and riddle of Ikoce among residents of a small nondescript town in Northern Uganda.  

 

My sculptural works (Abjects II Record) are imbued with symbols and gestures drawn from a dance notation based on the last recorded performances of Ikoce in the 1990s. The dance notation (5 pieces) multi-purposely serves as a record and invitation for performers to collectively conjure, re-invent, inscribe and enjoy the legacy of Ikoce while making relations with various bodies across different geographies and time.

Ikoce volume I, film still by Ayo