09.09.2022 Berlin Biennale 12 - Reconnecting ‘Objects’: An opening conversation

9 September, KunstWerke

4th Floor

7.00 — 9.00 pm

The research project Re-connecting “Objects”: Epistemic Plurality and Transformative Practices in and beyond Museums aims to tackle the legacies of containment in colonial collections from a multiplicity of approaches. Involving three African and two European universities and two museums (the Théodore Monod Museum of African Art in Dakar as well as the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford), the project aspires to collaboratively rethink and redo modes of working between these two continents, with a special attention to the sometimes subtle shifts and reconfigurations of power in the field. As a team of researchers based in Senegal, Cameroon, South Africa, Germany, Britain and France, we critically interrogate the histories of colonial collections, engage in the reconnection of interrupted chains of knowledge, and examine forms of custody, engagement and display that are attuned to social relations. We thus seek to produce transformative approaches to collections, while working towards the creation of a collaborative research exhibition. A digital working tool, developed with the team of La Villa Hermosa, a Brussels-based graphic design studio, is supporting our long-distance collaboration and serves as a platform to think through different ways of exhibition making.

The polyphonous opening unfolds our common endeavor, proposing to discuss it in Berlin, and bringing into resonance its multiple components, while thinking with and against the challenges that our different infrastructures bring about. We think of it as our first vernissage.

With: Sophie Schasiepen, Marian Nur Goni, Lucie Mbogni Nankeng, Lennon Mhishi, Rossila Goussanou and Lotte Arndt, in collaboration with La Villa Hermosa (Ayoh Kré Duchâtelet, Lionel Maes).