Kapwani Kiwanga
A Memory Palace
Exhibition: January 30 - April 1, 2015
Opening: January 30, 2015

Installation Views

Works

Press Release

Galerie Tanja Wagner is pleased to present new works by Kapwani Kiwanga. A Memory Palace is her first solo exhibition in Germany.

 

Kapwani Kiwanga’s projects often manifest as video and sound installations as well as peformances. She intentionally confuses truth and fiction in order to unsettle hegemonic narratives and create spaces in which marginal discourse can flourish.

 

In this exhibition Kiwanga offers the visitor a journey through time, constructed spaces, and assembled narratives using image and sound. As the title suggests, the concept of the palace or grand residency is central in the exhibition. The artist references a now-disappeared physical edifice; the former Reich Chancellery of Berlin which was known also as Palais Radzwill or Palais Schulenburg. This building was the setting to a number of historic events and important meetings.

 

The starting point for the exhibition is the Congo conference, 1884-1885, a series of diplomatic meetings which transpired within this building’s walls. European and American representatives met at the palace and made decisions which would change the geopolitical topography forever. The orders made regulated European trade in Africa, lead to the establishment of the Congo Free State, and set the stage for the ensuing “scramble for Africa”; the fervent colonisation of Africa by European nations. Kiwanga’s investigations take her around, beside, beyond, and before the Congo conference to unearth some intriguing stories. Stories she is eager to relate.

 

For the opening, the artist will perform a conference-performance based on her research on the Congo Conference which pulls together creation myths, liberatory acts, detective novels and crimes against humanity. Some of these performative elements will find their way into the exhibition where Kiwanga transforms the gallery into a physical manifestation of a memory palace. A memory palace is an ancient Greek method of memory enhancement, which uses visualization to organize and recall information. Items of information to be remembered are mentally associated with specific physical locations within a larger encompassing imagined space. When one needs to retrieve these items one only needs to imagine one’s self on a journeying through this space. Arriving at different imagined locations, images or situations unfold which trigger one to remember associated information.

 

Kiwanga employs both image and spoken word in her construction into a three dimensional memory palace. The visitor is invited to discover signs which range from obscure to iconic, archival to popular. The images all work together in a quest to hear new stories. As such, in A Memory Palace, Kiwanga offers the visitor a conceptual, temporal, and geographical meander without a definite telos if not to inscribe some facts and fictions into one’s memory.

 

 

Kapwani Kiwanga studied Anthropology and Comparative Religions at McGill University, Montréal. She was an artist in residence at: L’Ecole National Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris; Le Fresnoy: National Contemporary Art Studio (France), MU Foundation, Eindhoven and Le Manège, Dakar.

 

Her film and video works have been nominated for two Awards of the British Academy of Film and Television, and have received awards at international film festivals. She has exhibited internationally including at Centre Pompidou, Paris, France, Foundation Ricard, Paris, France; Glasgow Centre of Contemporary Art, Paris Photo, Bienal Internacional de Arte Contemporáneo, Almería, Spain; and the Art Catalyst, London. Recent and upcoming exhibitions include Jeu de Paume, Paris; Berlin Ethnographic Museum, The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation, Galerie Marian Goodman, Paris; HAU Hebbel Am Ufer, Berlin, SALT, Istanbul, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin.

Galerie Tanja Wagner freut sich neue Arbeiten von Kapwani Kiwanga zu zeigen. A Memory Palace ist die erste Einzelausstellung der Künstlerin in Berlin.

 

Kapwani Kiwanga arbeitet hauptsächlich mit Video, Sound Installationen und Performances. Sie verwischt absichtlich die Grenzen zwischen Wahrheit und Fiktion um historische, hegemoniale Narrative durcheinander zu bringen. So schafft sie Räume, in denen sich ein alternativer Diskurs oder eine neue Geschichtsschreibung entwickeln kann.

In dieser Ausstellung nimmt Kiwanga die Besucher anhand von Bildern und Ton mit auf eine Reise durch Zeit, konstruierten Raum und collagierte Narration. Wie der Titel andeutet, ist das Konzept des Palasts oder der großen Residenz eine zentrale Idee. Die Künstlerin bezieht sich auf ein zerstörtes Bauwerk; das frühere Reichskanzleramt von Berlin, welches zeitweilig auch Palais Radziwill oder Palais Schulenburg genannt wurde. Dieses Gebäude war Schauplatz mehrerer historischer Ereignisse und wichtiger Versammlungen.

 

Der historische Ausgangspunkt für Kiwangas neues Projekt ist die Kongo Konferenz, eine Reihe von diplomatischen Zusammenkünften, die zwischen 1884-1885 in diesem Gebäude abgehalten wurden. Europäische und amerikanische Vertreter kamen dort zusammen und trafen Entscheidungen, welche die geopolitische Topografie für immer verändern sollten. Die Verhandlungen regulierten den Europäischen Handel in Afrika, führten zu der Gründung des Freistaats Kongo und schafften Voraussetzungen für die eifrige Kolonialisierung des gesamten Kontinentes durch europäische Nationen, den „Wettlauf um Afrika“. Bei ihren Recherchen stieß Kiwanga auf faszinierende Geschichten rund um die Kongo Konferenz, welche sie in Beziehung zu unserer heutigen Zeit setzen will.

 

Für die Eröffnung der Ausstellung wird die Künstlerin eine Konferenz-Performance abhalten, die, ausgehend von ihren Recherchen, Schöpfungsmythen, Befreiungsschläge, Detektivgeschichten sowie Verbrechen an der Menschheit thematisiert und zusammenführt. Einige Teile der Performance finden ihren Weg in die Ausstellung, in welcher Kiwanga die Galerie in die physische Manifestation eines „Memory Palace“, eines Gedächtnispalasts werden lässt. Der Begriff Gedächtnispalast bezeichnet eine Mnemotechnik, die im antiken Griechenland entwickelt wurde, um Erinnerung durch Visualisierung zu manifestieren, Informationen zu organisieren und somit überall abrufbar zu machen. Versatzstücke von Erinnerung werden mit bestimmten Orten innerhalb eines großen, verschachtelten, imaginierten Raumes assoziiert. Wenn diese Erinnerungsversatzstücke abgerufen werden sollen, so begibt man sich auf eine imaginäre Reise durch diesen Raum. Während man den Gedächtnispalast in seinen Gedanken durchschreitet, zeigen sich an unterschiedlichen Orten Bilder oder Situationen, die dann Erinnerungen an eine damit verbundene Information auslösen.

 

Kiwanga nutzt gleichermaßen gefundene Bilder und erfundene Sprache in ihrer Konstruktion eines dreidimensionalen Gedächtnispalasts. Die Besucher werden aufgefordert, obskure bis ikonische, archivarische bis populistische Zeichen zu dechiffrieren. In ihrem Palast der Erinnerung bietet uns Kiwanga ein konzeptuelles, zeitliches und geografisches Labyrinth ohne konkretes Ziel. Auf der Suche nach einer neuen Geschichte wirken die zusammengestellten Bilder und Objekte miteinander, und wir haben die Aufgabe, uns selbst Fakten und Fiktionen in unsere Erinnerung einzuschreiben.

 

Vom 6. bis 15. März nimmt Kiwanga an dem Festival Return to Sender im HAU Hebbel am Ufer, Berlin teil.

 

 

Kapwani Kiwanga studierte Anthropologie und Vergleichende Religionswissenschaft an der McGill University in Montréal. Sie war artist in residence am L’Ecole National Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris; Le Fresnoy: National Contemporary Art Studio (F), MU Foundation, Eindhoven und Le Manège, Dakar.

 

Ihre Filme und Videos waren zweimal für den Award der British Academy of Film and Television nominiert und gewannen Preise auf internationalen Filmfestivals. Ihre Arbeit wird darüber hinaus international gezeigt, u. a. im Centre Pompidou, Paris; Foundation Ricard, Paris; Glasgow Centre of Contemporary Art, Paris Photo, Bienal Internacional de Arte Contemporáneo, Almería und Art Catalyst, London. Aktuelle und zukünftige Ausstellungen sind im Jeu de Paume, Paris; im Ethnografischen Museum Berlin, The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation, Galerie Marian Goodman, Paris; Hebbel Am Ufer, Berlin, SALT, Istanbul, und Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin geplant.

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February 27 - June 12, 2016
Kapwani Kiwanga
Solo Exhibition
La Ferme de Buisson, Noisiel
April 24 - October 9, 2016
Kapwani Kiwanga
Hors Sol
FRAC Poitou-Charnetes
February 12 - May 14, 2016
Kapwani Kiwanga
Subduction Zones
Solo exhibition
Le Granit, Belfort
March 5 - April 19, 2016
Kapwani Kiwanga
Afrogalactica: A Brief History of the Future
Performance at
Lille métropole musée d'art moderne, d'art contemporain et d'art brut, Lille
December 17, 2015 16.30 pm
Kapwani Kiwanga
A Conservator’s Tale
Performance at FIAC, Paris
October 22, 2015
Kapwani Kiwanga
4th Biennale of Lubumbashi
October 20 - November 8, 2015
Kapwani Kiwanga
Commissioned Artist Named for Armory Show 2016
by Robin Pogrebin
Armory Show 2016
March 3 – 6, 2016
Annabel Daou and Kapwani Kiwanga
What We Call Love
Group exhibition curated by Christine Macel
Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin
September 12, 2015 – February 14, 2016
Kapwani Kiwanga
Kontrollmodus Feedback
Group exhibition curated by Elena Agudio & Michael Arzt
Halle 14, Leipzig September
12 - November 8, 2015
Kapwani Kiwanga
Edge of Silence
Group exhibition
Goodman Gallery, Cape Town
July 23 - August 29, 2015
Kapwani Kiwanga
Afrogalactica: A Brief History of the Future
Performance at La Maison Rouge, Paris
July 9, 2015
Kapwani Kiwanga
Story of a Conservator
Performance
Bétonsalon, Paris
June 25, 2015 7-8 pm
Kapwani Kiwanga
Mediated Measures
Solo exhibition curated by Simone Frangi
Viafarini, Milano
June 18 - July 16, 2015
Kapwani Kiwanga
Atopolis
Group exhibition organized by Wiels in collaboration with Mons 2015
Manège de Sury, Mons in cooperation with WIELS Contemporary Art Center, Brussels
June 13 – October 18, 2015
Kapwani Kiwanga
To speak of things you have not seen
Lecture-performance at
South London Gallery, London
May 20, 2015 7 pm
Kapwani Kiwanga
Afrogalactica II: The Black Star Chronicles
Performance at
ENSBA, Beaux-Arts de Paris
May 7, 2015 4:30 pm
Kapwani Kiwanga
storytelling through art
by Giulia Franceschini
IAM AFRICA MAGAZINE
April 29, 2015
Kapwani Kiwanga
Afrogalactica: A Brief History of the Future
Performance at
Exodos International Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts, Ljubljana
April 20, 2015 6 pm
Kapwani Kiwanga
Kinjiketile Suite
Solo exhibition
South London Gallery, London
April 15 - 7 June, 2015
Kapwani Kiwanga
The deep space scrolls
Performance at
Fondation d'Entreprise Ricard, Paris
March 30, 2015 7 pm
Kapwani Kiwanga
I am no longer a purist…
Magnus Rosengarten in conversation with Kapwani Kiwanga
Contemporary And
March 28, 2015
Kapwani Kiwanga
AFROGALACTICA : a brief history of the future
Performance at Kunstencentrum Vooruit, Ghent
March 14, 2015 7pm
Kapwani Kiwanga
Does Not Equal
Group exhibition
W139
March 13 - April 12, 2015
Kapwani Kiwanga
Telepathic Relay
Performance
HAU Hebbel am Ufer, Berlin
March 12, 2015
Kapwani Kiwanga
AFROGALACTICA : a brief history of the future
Performance
Le Phénix - Scène National de Valenciennes
March 11, 2015
Kapwani Kiwanga
A Century of Centuries

Group exhibition
SALT BEYOĞLU, Istanbul
March 10 – May 24, 2015
Kapwani Kiwanga
Trace évidence

Solo exhibition
École Supérieure d’Art et Design, Valence 
March 5 - 20, 2015