Kiluanji Kia Henda | A Healing Path for Phantom Pain

Kiluanji Kia Henda

04 February - 05 March 2022

Goodman Gallery, London

Goodman Gallery is pleased to present “A Healing Path for Phantom Pain”, Kiluanji Kia Henda’s first solo exhibition in the UK. The exhibition brings together bodies of work continuing the artist’s exploration of collective memory through engagement with landscapes and public structures.

The title of the exhibition couples the painful realities of the past — which present themselves as ghostly recurrences — with the hopeful possibility of recovery. More pointedly, it reflects on the history of Angola through a critique of structures of power that continue colonial legacies. The artist explains; “On the street where I grew up in Luanda, there was a school, a cinema, a police station, and a Catholic church next to an Orthopaedic centre – each of which played a part in the colonial strategy. I decided to focus on the Catholic church and the Orthopaedic centre to think through Western influences in Angola’s history and its devastating conflict.”

The 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death in 2017 coincided with Kia Henda’s return to Luanda from New York — a trip during which Diana’s humanitarian efforts were advertised broadly in international media. Part of Diana’s efforts included a visit to Angola, in 1997, where she lobbied against the military industry which benefited from the terror of war, particularly in the production and distribution of anti-personnel landmines. Through photographs, a video installation, as well as new sculptural installations, Kia Henda reflects on the continued effects of active landmines in Angola. A vestige of the brutal civil war, anti-personnel landmines continue to threaten the lives of civilians across the country.

Terra inóspita is a new sculpture that gestures at illusions of safety. The work is modelled on signs used to warn people of the existence of anti-personnel landmines. Made from 117 glass rods, Terra inóspita is a reinterpretation of these warning signs which are often made of wooden sticks painted red and white. The translucency and fragility of glass as a material reflects on the battlefield as a site of deadly experimentation, a lethal laboratory of forts. Loosely translated from Portuguese as “inhospitable land”, the sculpture reflects frustration at the inefficacy of measures to prevent death. Kia Henda recalls small children playing near these signs, wholly unaware of the dangers of existing landmines. Through this work, he pushes against the historicization of the war, returning these concerns to the present moment. Alongside this work is a clay sculpture, A Healing Path for Phantom Pain, based on rehabilitation apparatus used by patients at the Neves Bendinha Orthopaedic Centre. The work reflects on processes of healing and recuperation. The sculpture functions as a model for Kia Henda’s plans to replicate a lifesize rehabilitation apparatus, using sand. For the artist, both materials of sand and clay contain fragility and have a connection to healing pains of the past.

The series of photographs in the exhibition document the Neves Bendinha Orthopaedic Centre and the Santa Ana Catholic church. Devoid of human beings and with no signifiers of time, the images capture an enduring melancholy and restlessness. Both the Orthopaedic centre and the church are a reflection of sites of hope for many Angolans who experienced the effects of war. And yet they reveal themselves as not completely within reach — enclosed, protected…and therefore empty.

Restless Landscape is a series of digital print montages. The images are an assemblage of photographs of the landscape in the central part of Angola where the civil war was particularly damaging. Thinking about the impact of war on both people and on nature, Kia Henda gestures towards trauma’s ability to root itself into the land, thereby necessitating a process of healing and renewal. By creating the photomontages, he is recreating a new landscape filled with overlapping trees — this process of manipulation is Kia Henda’s attempt at rehabilitating the land from a traumatic past.

In Phantom Pain – A letter to Henry A. Kissinger (2020), part of which is filmed at the Neves Bendinha Orthopaedic Centre, Kia Henda confronts former United States Secretary of State Henry Kissinger for his involvement in crimes against humanity and the resultant enduring pain his decisions caused. Kissinger, of course, remains a polarising figure hailed as both war criminal and venerated as a Nobel prize laureate. Through this work, Kia Henda points to the ways in which the retelling of history is illusory, perhaps even deceptive.

Through a meditation on the geopolitical, “A Healing Path for Phantom Pain” studies how trauma travels temporally and spatially while also confronting the painful process of overcoming that trauma.


Kiluanji Kia Henda (b. 1979, Luanda, Angola) employs a surprising sense of humour in his work, which often homes in on themes of identity, politics, and perceptions of post-colonialism and modernism in Africa. Kia Henda brings a critical edge to his multidisciplinary practice, which incorporates photography, video, and performance. Informed by a background surrounded by photography enthusiasts, Kia Henda’s conceptual-based work has further been sharpened by exposure to music, avant-garde theatre, and collaborations with a collective of emerging artists in Luanda’s art scene. Much of Kia Henda’s work draws on history through the appropriation and manipulation of public spaces and structures, and the different representations that form part of collective memory, in order to produce complex, yet powerful imagery.

Kia Henda has had solo exhibitions in galleries and institutions around the world. His work has featured on biennales in Venice, Dakar, São Paulo and Gwanju as well as major travelling exhibitions such as Making Africa: A Continent of Contemporary Design and The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Hell, Purgatory revisited by Contemporary African Artists. In 2019, Kia Henda’s work was acquired by Tate Modern in London, and he was selected to participate on the Unlimited sector at Art Basel. In 2020, Kia Kenda exhibited at the MAN Museo d’Arte Provincia di Nuoro in Italy, marking his first solo exhibition in a major European museum.

Kia Henda currently lives and works between Luanda and Lisbon.

05.02.2022 | par Alícia Gaspar | A Healing Path for Phantom Pain, Art, culture, exhibition, goodman gallery, kiluanji kia henda

Exhibition - UPCycles Residência Criativa Audiovisual, 2021

Inauguration of the Exhibition - UPCycles Residência Criativa Audiovisual 2021, on next Friday (September 3) at 6 pm, at the Fortress of Maputo - which will present five multidisciplinary works by emerging artists from Mozambique and Cape Verde, with tutorship by Ângela Ferreira ( Portugal/South Africa) and Edson Chagas (Angola).

An organization of the Association of Friends of the Museum of Cinema (AAMCM) with funding from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and with your indispensable support.  

02.09.2021 | par Alícia Gaspar | Art, audiovisual, cape Verde, exhibition, Maputo, mozambique, museum of cinema, Portugal, upcycles

Ângela Ferreira, structures et gestes — Indépendance Cha Cha & #BucketsystemMustFall

Exhibition from 04 July 2021 to 25 September 2021

#BucketsystemMustFall - Centre d’art Ygrec-ENSAPC, Aubervilliers (93)

-Opening on Saturday 03 July from 2.30 pm to 7 pm

-Open from Wednesday to Saturday from 1pm to 7pm 

Indépendance Cha Cha  - Centre d’art de l’Abbaye de Maubuisson, Saint Ouen-L’Aumône (95)

-Opening on Sunday 04 July from 2.30 pm to 6.15 pm 

-Booking mandatory - 

Open each day except for Tuesday from 1pm to 6.15pm Wednesday 9.30am - 11.45am and 1pm - 6.15pm

From July 4 to September 25, 2021, the exhibition  Ângela Ferreira, structures and gestures - Independence Cha Cha & #BucketsystemMustFall unfolds on two sites: the art center of the Abbaye de Maubuisson, located in Saint Ouen-L’Aumône (95) and Ygrec-ENSAPC, art center of the Ecole nationale supérieure d’arts Paris-Cergy located in Aubervilliers (93).  Ângela Ferreira proposes two distinct installations in relation to the two specific contexts: on the one hand the architectural heritage of the abbey’s gardens, and on the other hand the urban density and the history of migration in Aubervilliers.

In the barn of the Maubuisson Abbey Art Center,  Ângela Ferreira presents Independence Cha Cha, an installation composed notably of a large-scale wooden sculpture. Inspired by her participation in the Lubumbashi Biennial (Democratic Republic of Congo) in 2013, the sculpture borrows its modernist form from that of the façade of a service station located in the center of Lubumbashi created by the Belgian architect Claude Strebelle in the late 1950s. This sculpture serves as a support for the projection of two videos. The first documents a performance organized by the artist during the Lubumbashi Biennale, in which two singers sing the song «Je vais entrer dans la mine» (I’m going to enter the mine). In the second, which gives its title to the work, the musical group of the Hôtel du Parc of Lubumbashi interprets «Independence Cha Cha», an emblematic hymn of the African Francophone independence movement. Interacting with the sculpture is a series of collages that include photographs and various documents related to the events presented in the videos.

At Ygrec-ENSAPC,  Ângela Ferreira proposes a new installation specially designed for the art center. Entitled #BucketsystemMustFall, it refers to the South African student protest movement #RhodesMustFall, initially directed against the memorial statue of Cecil John Rhodes (British colonialist, 1853-1902), a symbol of the persistence of institutional racism within the University of Cape Town. On March 9, 2015, in order to call for its removal, activist Chumani Maxwele grabbed a bucket of excrement and dumped it on the statue. This highly publicized gesture led to the removal of the statue and initiated a strong mobilization across South Africa advocating for the decolonization of education and universities. By bringing together the images of the fallen statue with precarious latrines, Ferreira articulates the ideas of debunking, political activism with the symbolism of the “bucket system toilet”, a blatant revelation of social inequalities and segregation. Finally, “and by implication only, it points to the question and meaning of using human feces as a tool for political statement. An image which seems to have become central to South African urban problems.”

From facades to monuments,  Ângela Ferreira’s double exhibition bears witness to her interest in architecture and the investigative work that the artist carries out to make visible the political agendas and ideologies that constructions - in all their forms - convey. Combining research and artistic experimentation, her works - be they sculptural, video or photographic - explore the survivals and ghosts of colonialism and post-colonialism in contemporary society. They contribute to uncovering unofficial memories and narratives and the insidious mechanisms of oppression, while problematizing the revolutionary utopias of the euphoric period surrounding African independence movements and nation building.

In order to share the artistic and social interrogations inherent to  Ângela Ferreira’s work beyond the two exhibition sites, a series of discussions and a seminar will be organized with the Théâtre de La Commune d’Aubervilliers in the fall of 2021, inviting students, researchers and associations. 

Curated by: Corinne Diserens, Marie Menèstrier et Guillaume Breton

*Ângela Ferreira 

Originally from Mozambique, where she was born in 1958, Ângela Ferreira grew up in South Africa where she received her MFA at the Michaelis School of Fine Art at the University of Cape Town. She lives and works in Portugal and teaches at the University of Lisbon where she completed a PhD in 2016. 

Her work has been presented in Portugal, Africa and internationally in solo exhibitions which include: A Spontaneous Tour of Some Monuments of African Architecture, Hangar, Lisbon (2021); Talk Tower for Forough Farrokhzad, Tensta Konsthall, Stockholm (2021); 1 Million Roses for Angela Davis, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden (2020); Dalaba: Sol d’Exil, Fidelidade Arte, Lisbon (2019); Pan African Unity Mural, MAAT – Museu Arte Arquitetura Tecnologia, Lisbon, (2018); Boca, Centre Régional de la Photographie, Douchy-les-Mines (2016); Wattle and Daub, Old School, Lisbon (2016); Hollows Tunnels, Cavities and more…, Filomena Soares Gallery, Lisbon (2015); A Tendency to Forget, Museu Berardo, Lisbon (2015); Messy Colonialism, Wild Decolonization, Zona MACO SUR, Mexico (2015); Revolutionary Traces, Stroom, Den Haag (2014); SAAL Brigades, Museu de Serralves, Oporto (2014); Independance Cha Cha, Galeria do Parque, Vila Nova da Barquinha (2014); Political Cameras (from Mozambique series), Stills, Edinburgh (2012); For Mozambique, Michael Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town (2008); Hard Rain Show, Berardo Museum, Centro Cultural de Belém, Lisbon and La Criée art center, Rennes (2008)… 

She has participated in numerous group exhibitions as well as several international biennials such as the 3rd Lubumbashi Biennial (2013), the 28th São Paulo Biennial (2008)  the 52nd Venice Biennial (2007).

02.07.2021 | par Alícia Gaspar | #bucketsystemmustfall, ângela ferreira, Art, exhibition, indépendance cha cha, South Africa

SLAVERY — Ten true stories

Rijksmuseum, the national museum of arts and history of the Netherlands, will stage its first ever major exhibition dedicated to the subject of slavery this spring. Slavery is inextricably bound up with Dutch history. It is the first time stories of slave trade across the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans are told together in one exhibition in the Netherlands.

The Slavery exhibition presents ten true stories. Ten personal stories about enslaved people and slave owners, people who resisted, and people who were brought to the Netherlands in slavery. What were their lives like? What was their attitude to the system of slavery? Were they able to make their own decisions?

Slavery exhibition, Photo RijksmuseumSlavery exhibition, Photo Rijksmuseum

The exhibition will include objects from national and international museums, archives and private collections like the Nationaal Museum voor Wereldculturen, British Museum, National Gallery of Denmark, Iziko Museums of South Africa, St Eustatius Historical Foundation, National Archeological Antropological Memory Management (NAAM) in Curaçao, the National Archives of South Africa, Indonesia and the Netherlands and private collections in Sint Eustatius, Suriname, the Netherlands.

Valika Smeulders, head of History Rijksmuseum: By focusing on ten true personal stories, ‘Slavery’ gives an insight into how individuals dealt with legalized injustice.

Taco Dibbits, General Director Rijksmuseum: The Rijksmuseum is the national museum of art and history. Slavery is an integral part of our history. By delving into it, we can form a more complete picture of our history and a better understanding of today’s society.

Ten true stories

During the 250-year colonial period, people were made into property and objects to be recorded in accounts. The exhibition highlights the lives of ten people who lived at the time. They each tell their own story: about living in slavery or taking advantage of it, about resistance and – ultimately – freedom. 
They include enslaved people and slaveholders, as well as individuals who broke the shackles of slavery, an African servant in the Netherlands, and an Amsterdam sugar industrialist. An audio tour leads visitors through these widely differing lives. Among the narrators are Joy Delima, Remy Bonjasky and Anastacia Larmonie, who each have a connection with one of the ten people through their own background.

The exhibition includes objects, paintings and unique archival documents, and visitors will hear oral sources, poems and music. To tell a more complete story, there will be exhibits that have never been shown in the Rijksmuseum before, such as objects that were cherished by people in slavery, and tools that were used on plantations.

Once visitors have seen the exhibition, artists David Bade and Tirzo Martha from Instituto Buena Bista in Curaçao invites visitors to process their impressions in new, own artworks, entitled Look at me now.

Tronco (Multiple Foot Stocks) for the constraining enslaved people, c. 1600–1800. Rijksmuseum, gift from Mr J.W. de Keijzer, GoudaTronco (Multiple Foot Stocks) for the constraining enslaved people, c. 1600–1800. Rijksmuseum, gift from Mr J.W. de Keijzer, Gouda 

The Dutch colonial period on four continents

The exhibition spans the Dutch colonial period from the 17th to the 19th century. It features the trans-Atlantic slavery in Suriname, Brazil and the Caribbean, and the part played by the Dutch West India Company (WIC); and Dutch colonial slavery in South Africa and Asia, where the Dutch East India Company (VOC) operated. The effects of the system in the Netherlands during the period are also highlighted. As a whole it offers a geographically broad and at the same time specifically Dutch view which has never been seen before in a national museum.

Look at me now

The stories in the exhibition – about João, Wally, Oopjen, Paulus, Dirk, Lokhay, Van Bengalen, Surapati, Sapali and Tula – stand for millions of other stories about the slavery past of the Netherlands, and its continued effects. At the end of the exhibition, the artists David Bade (Curacao, 1970) and Tirzo Martha (Curacao, 1965), both from Curacao’s Instituto Buena Bista, invite visitors to give expression to their own stories through the ten new artworks making up the Look at Me Now project. 
Visitors can follow the progress of this project via the website.


The exhibition and accompanying events and activities are the result of collaboration with a wide variety of external experts, including historians, heritage experts, cultural entrepreneurs, artists, theatre practitioners and performers.

Narrative advisor
Jörgen Tjon A Fong

Think tank 
Reggie Baay, Raul Balai, Aspha Bijnaar, Mitchell Esajas, Karwan Fatah-Black, Martine Gosselink, Dienke Hondius, Wayne Modest, Ellen Neslo, Matthias van Rossum, Maurice San A Jong, Alex van Stipriaan, Jennifer Tosch, Urwin Vyent, Simone Zeefuik and Suze Zijlstra

Online exhibition

The Rijksmuseum is also presenting the ten stories in an online exhibition that features video and audio clips, animations, an overview of the exhibition galleries, and objects that can be viewed in exceptional detail. Visitors to the website will be able to see the Slavery exhibition in ten episodes, whenever and wherever it suits them.

Rijksmuseum & Slavery

For the coming year, more than 70 objects in the permanent collection will have a second museum label that explores and highlights what has been, until now, an invisible relationship between the object and slavery. Subjects covered range from former rulers to the presence of people of colour and the way they are portrayed. &Slavery is taking place concurrentlxy with the Slavery exhibition, but it is not part of the exhibition. 

Audio tour

The audio tour is an integral part of the exhibition and is offered free of charge. There is a special interactive audio tour for children.

Accompanying book

The Rijksmuseum and Atlas Contact Publishers are jointly publishing Slavery, a richly illustrated book describing the lives of ten people who were part of the Dutch colonial history of enslavement. Authors: Eveline Sint Nicolaas, Valika Smeulders et al. Available in the Rijksmuseum shop and in bookshops.

Exhibition design

The exhibition design is by AFARAI, the agency led by architect Afaina de Jong.
The graphic design of the exhibition and the book are by Irma Boom Office.


The Rijksmuseum partnered with the National Library of the Netherlands and the National Archive of the Netherlands to present an English-language online symposium on 23 April 2021, focusing on what it means to increase inclusivity in source usage by museums, archives and libraries. What sources are available to people making presentations and conducting research on the subjects of slavery and the slave trade? Click here to view the symposium.


The Slavery exhibition is made possible in part by the Mondriaan Fund, Blockbuster Fund, Fonds 21, DutchCulture, Democracy & Media Foundation, Stichting Thurkowfonds, ThiemeMeulenhoff, Boomerang Agency and via the Rijksmuseum Fonds: Scato Gockinga Fonds, Fonds de Zuidroute, Zusjes Nieuwbeerta Fonds, Fonds Dirk Jan van Orden, Henry M. Holterman Fonds and Bestuursfonds Hollandse Meesters.

22.05.2021 | par Alícia Gaspar | colonial period, dutch slavery, exhibition, history, slavery

Disco and the Angolan Cilvil War

To create his latest body of work, Stan Douglas took on the persona of a fictitious nineteen-seventies photojournalist who documents both the disco scene in New York City and the liberation struggle in the southern African country of Angola. Using period clothing, props, and decor, Douglas staged what he calls “fragmentary costume dramas” from these disparate milieus. “The nineteen-seventies was when everything changed,” Douglas told us. “It was a time of the greatest concentration of wealth and the least amount of productivity. What the Angolan Civil War and disco shared, in their earliest moments, was that they were both utopian spaces destroyed by the intrusion of outsiders.”

“A Luta Continua, 1974,” 2012“A Luta Continua, 1974,” 2012

Read more at The New Yorker.
Check online the Exhibition at the David Zwirner Gallery.

09.04.2012 | par herminiobovino | exhibition, Photography

"One caption hides another" - exhibition

One caption hides another

16 november 2011 until 28 january 2012
With: Agency, Daniel Boyd, Peggy Buth, Jimmie Durham, Kiluanji Kia Henda, Camille Henrot, Patrizio di Massimo, Uriel Orlow, Francis Upritchard, Françoise Vergès (Maison des Civilisations et de l’Unité Réunionnaise), Susan Vogel.

“When men die, they enter history. When statues die, they enter art. This botany of death is what we call culture.”
Statues also die (1953), Chris Marker and Alain Resnais

One caption hides another aims to expand the field countering official history by taking as a departure point a key topic in current museological debates, that of anthropological restitution. Inspired by the recent repatriation of the Maori warrior head from the Museum of Rouen to its ancestral home, New Zealand, this exhibition and series of events propose an exploration into the ethical, scientific, political and legal issues arising from cases of restitution.
One caption hides another further aims to problematise the displacement between traditional and cult object, on the one hand, and historical and museological object, on the other. Can an object have different statuses?
Who can legitimately make this decision? Are there different possible narratives to understand and read these objects? A critical deconstruction of these questions will make visible and legible the fact that a caption on an exhibition label often hides another beneath it.
Addressing the topics of collective memory and heritage, One caption hides another creates a meeting point for artworks, ethnographic and juridical documents, films and museographic projects. Documenting real situations, making use of fiction or radicalising one’s relation to heritage, the artists, researchers and platforms invited in this project are all engaged in reflexive endeavours concerning the museological object and challenging
ethnographic representation.

9 esplanade Pierre Vidal-Naquet
Rez-de-Chaussée de la Halle aux Farines
13th district - Paris
Postal address: 37 Bd Ornano/ 75018 Paris

04.11.2011 | par joanapires | exhibition

Trash Anthology - Anthology Trash by Yonamine

 Eduardo Aquino Eduardo Aquino

Yonamine was born in Luanda in 1975 and lived in Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Brazil, UK and Portugal. His spatial installations and video works deal with Angolan history, simultaneously they are also inspired by popular culture and pop-art itself. The archeology of images from the collective archive is challenged by ironical comments concerning the present situation in Africa, playing with icons and heroic figures. Starting point for the installation Anthology Trash – Trash Anthology was the publication archive of the Iwalewa-Haus, whioch is deconstructed and questioning.

Exhibition Time: 27.11.11 to 04.03.12

Iwalewa-Haus, University of Bayreuth, Germany



01.11.2011 | par nadinesiegert | angola, Art, Bayreuth, exhibition, Iwalewa-Haus, trash anthology, yonamine

'Ordinary Rendition' / Peterson Kamwathi

Untitled Study, 2011Untitled Study, 2011

Peterson Kamwathi Waweru, born 1980 in Nairobi, has occupied himself for a long time with symbols and their meaning. In the exhibition he shows current drawings, woodcarving and graffiti, negotiating the historical, social and psychological mechanisms of conditioning and manipulation not only in his own society.

There is also a new publication - a cooperation with the Goethe-Institut and Verlag fuer Moderne Kunst Nürnberg, edited by J. Hossfeld and U. Vierke.

Exhibition from 27.11.11 to 04.03.12

Iwalewa-Haus, University of Bayreuth, Germany




01.11.2011 | par nadinesiegert | Africa, Art, Bayreuth, exhibition, Iwalewa-Haus, Kenya, Peterson Kamwathi

'Not in the title' / Sam Hopkins

Not in the title / photocollage 2011Not in the title / photocollage 2011

Sam Hopkins´ installation „Not in the title“ is inspired by Nigerian and Ghanaian horror movies from the collection of the Iwalewa-Haus. A selection of these movies is shown in the original version mixed with manipulated sequences that are integrated digitally. The installation asks about authenticity and searches for the reception of global artworks in a local context.

Sam Hopkins lives in Nairobi (Kenya). His art is concerned with public space and interactivity. Examples are the media collective Slum TV and Urban Mirror Nairobi.

Exhibition from 27-11-11 / 04-03-12

Iwalewa-Haus, University of Bayreuth, Germany




01.11.2011 | par nadinesiegert | Africa, Art, exhibition, Kenya, Nigeria, Nollywood, Sam Hopkins

IWALEWA-HAUS Archive Laboratory Utopia

In October 2011 Iwalewa-Haus celebrates its 30th anniversary - a motive to reflect, celebrate, critically discuss, experiment, imagine and visualize under the headlines of archive, laboratory and utopia. Exhibitions, a workshop and program take place in that context to present the past, present and future of Iwalewa-Haus.

The focal point of the archive tells the history of Iwalewa-Haus with the exhibitions ”Spuren - 30 Jahre Iwalewa-Haus’ and ‘Visions d’ailleurs’. In the laboratory we show three projects developed in the context of short time artist residencies by three young artists from Kenya and Angola. Finally utopia considers the future of Iwalewa-Haus. In an international workshop we discuss important topics such as local and international cooperations, museum pedagogics, teaching and research, exhibition and publication practises and the artist in residence program.


Iwalewa-Haus, University of Bayreuth, Germany.



01.11.2011 | par nadinesiegert | Africa, Art, exhibition

The Mews - Charlotte Moth and Yonamine‏

12.10.2011 | par joanapires | exhibition, the mews

Spacecraft Icarus 13: Narratives of Progress from Elsewhere

Kiluanji Kia Henda, The Spaceship Icarus 13, Luanda, 2007, photo, part of the series Icarus 13Kiluanji Kia Henda, The Spaceship Icarus 13, Luanda, 2007, photo, part of the series Icarus 13

The exhibition Spacecraft Icarus 13, as its title suggests, symbolically collapses together the narrative of the mythical flight of Icarus with that of a concrete historical saga, namely the United States’ space-conquering mission Apollo 13. In so doing it creates a ground from which to seek out the contemporary Narratives of Progress from Elsewhere indicated in its subtitle. The Apollo space program, which played out the US’s competition with the USSR in the ideological fight for Cold War supremacy under the flag of “progress,” saw its 1970 mission fall short when grave technical failures made a lunar landing impossible. Similarly, if an imaginary “Icarus 13” set out on a mission to the sun—as one of the works in the show proposes—it would necessarily fail: just as in the case of its Greek predecessor, getting too close to the sun would cause the craft to fall to its death.

 Johannes Schwartz Johannes Schwartz

Yet the absurdity of such a mission is not what’s at stake here, and neither is a desire to revitalize the discussion about the divisions of the world driven by the doctrine of progress. Despite the complex philosophical, political, and historical controversies the notion of progress invites into the discussion, there is a powerful motivational aspect inherent in it. As a forward-looking ideal of improvement, it invites us to think the future beyond today’s devotion to the principle of unfettered global economic growth. This is what curator Cosmin Costinaş had in mind when he brought together artists from various parts of the world—but mainly from “elsewhere”— in order to identify a network of knowledge and dialogue from beyond the territories once (directly) involved in the Cold War rivalry. The works speak powerfully about the necessity to think beyond, in Costinaş’s words, “today’s neoliberal brand of progress,” which repackages “decay and confusion” into its incessant hegemonic practice. And although it might seem improbable to imagine an end to this neoliberal mission—perhaps as implausible as landing on the sun—where if not in the space of art can we shift the limits of what is imaginable, and with it the boundaries of possibility? (Maria Hlavajova)

Artists: Neil Beloufa, Patty Chang & David Kelley, Kiluanji Kia Henda, Federico Herrero, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Mikhail Kalatozov, Cristina Lucas, Yasuzo Masumura, Omar Meneses, Mauro Restiffe, Glauber Rocha, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Lin Yilin

Curated by: Cosmin Costinaş

The exhibition is on view from 8 October until 23 December 2011 at BAK, basis voor actuele Kunst, Utrecht.
Spacecraft Icarus 13 is a research exhibition within the framework of the project FORMER WEST.

21.09.2011 | par joanapires | alternative visions, exhibition, exposição de fotografia, progress

GhostBusters [from nightmare to memory]

'Mutilado' by Bofa da Cara'Mutilado' by Bofa da CaraClaudia Cristovao, Nastio Mosquito
GhostBusters I [from nightmare to memory]
A Project by SAVVY Contemporary Berlin and Iwalewa -Haus Bayreuth


SAVVY Contemporary, Berlin
Richardstraße 43/44
12055 Berlin, Germany


The exhibition project GhostBusters [from nightmare to memory] features the work of two outstanding young artists: Claudia Cristovão and Nástio Mosquito. The projects’ concept derives from the metaphor of Africa as a phantom in the post-colonial, post-socialist and post-war mind, explored and imagined by the artists in very different ways. The artworks (video-work, installation and photography) deal with imagination as aesthetic practice, approaching different layers of memory and (imagined) history. One of the leading ideas is the exploration of (absent) memories in the cultural archive, of visual tropes in the wasteland of the bizarre and the uncanny.

Nástio Mosquito and Claudia Cristovão have both been born in Angola in the 1970s. While Claudia Cristovão later moved to Portugal and the Netherlands, Nástio Mosquito returned to live and work in Angola after some years abroad. Both artists explore the project theme in individual but complementary ways. The question of origin and belonging is one of their common topics, widening the imagination of the phantom Africa. The question of a possible future – also as artist in and from Africa – is also questioned alongside the project.

The project GhostBusters [from nightmare to memory] starts in September 2011 in Berlin at SAVVY Contemporary and continues in April 2012 with GhostBusters II [from memory to vision] at Iwalewa-Haus in Bayreuth. Both artists stay in Berlin and Bayreuth for short-term residencies to be able to develop a relationship to the exhibition-spaces as well as the cities. Time and space are given to explore the phantoms within the respective urban-scape of the cities, thus finding a way to find tracks and traces of dreams and nightmares in both imaginary and real space. The real and the mental space work as analogon within the whole project. Especially the peripheries of both spaces with their forgotten and obscure places are considered. The artist’s exercises of re-membering thus unlock and unpack the (inner) marginal landscapes.

07.09.2011 | par nadinesiegert | Berlin, Claudia Cristovao, exhibition, GhostBusters, Iwalewa-Haus Bayreuth, memory, Nástio Mosquito, nightmare, Savvy Contemporary

Wondering in the Afropolis

Special Tour with Gabi Ngcobo and Christiane König

A conversation between curator and director of the Centre for Historical Re-enactment, Johannesburg, South Africa and film and media scholar Christiane König about and in the exhibition Afropolis (Iwalewa-Haus).

Gabi Ngcobo is a Johannesburg based curator. Projects include collaborative and individual projects: Second to None at the South African National Gallery, Olvida quen soy/ Erase me from who I am at CAAM, Canary Islands, 2006, Titled/Untitled, a curatorial collaboration with Gugulective collective and Scratching the Surface Vol.1 at the AVA Gallery, Cape Town. In 2010 Ngcobo co-curated rope-a-dope: to win a losing war at Cabinet, New York, Second Coming, a curatorial collaboration at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College and Just How Cold Was It? At ‘6-8 Months’ project space, New York City.  She recently co-founded the “Center for Historical Reenactments” (CHR) an independent platform based in Johannesburg. At CHR she curated “PASS-AGES: references & footnotes” and an ongoing project titled Xenoglossia, a research project.

Christiane König, Ph.D., is assistent professor at the Anglo-American Institute, History Department, Cologne University. Her main fields of interest are Film Theory and History, Media Theory and Archaeology, digital cultures, biological and informational Cybernetics, Science Studies, Feminist Theory, Gender and Queer Studies.

See more on


Mo 06 May 2011, 6pm

Iwalewa-Haus, University of Bayreuth, Germany

02.06.2011 | par nadinesiegert | África do Sul, afropolis, curator, exhibition, Gabi Ncgobo