top of page

​WHEN THINGS ARE BEINGS
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam 

26.11.2022 - 10.04.2023


Winnow(er) (2022) is the outcome of Ayo’s quest to learn the craft of weaving winnowing fans in the style of Langi people living in northern Uganda—the objects are known as Odero (“Langi winnowers”) in the artist’s mother tongue. Presenting the fans as sculptural objects that were inspired by a Langi winnower inherited by the artist herself, the project investigates embodied knowledge about personal and collective histories etched deep within diasporic bodies. The center of gravity for this project lies in the expansion of Ayo’s practice towards informal knowledge production and immaterial cultural heritage.

Conceptually, Winnow(er) represents the forces manifested through the multiplicity of energies an
d purposes that can be contained within this object. Winnowers are not only used in agriculture, but also in ceremonies such as Dwoko Atin Awobi lot, a child-cleansing practice and rite of passage that UNESCO recognized in 2013 as intangible cultural heritage. Ayo’s engagement with her diasporic experience—using Dutch materials while engaging with Ugandan techniques and heritage—imbues Winnow(er) with trans-historical and trans- geographical significance.

Photo: Geert-Jan Van Rooij

Concept and exhibition curation: Amanda Pinatih and Britte Sloothaak, with the help of intern Jasmijn Mol.

Download  ' When things are beings' Publication 

 

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 wh
en 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

 Part of HEKS (Witches), Group exhibition, Artphy

 

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

​​

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​

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