Addressing the Headquarters talk – Framer Framed, Amsterdam

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photos by Marlise Steeman

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In the same boat

“We are tired. We are burning.
Our collective have travelled back to the old world. The mother countries welcome us because we bare the marks of value. Stamped, sealed and gold plated. We’ve been schengen-ed, having jumped through hoops to bring a wheatpaste to a white wall near you. Others are not so lucky. They dream of hoops to jump through. “

OBJETOS FRONTERA (BOUNDARY OBJETCS)
CA2M, Madrid.
November 3th 2015 to February 28th 2016
Photos by AndrÈs Arranz.
Exhibition views “Boundary Objetcs” at CA2M Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, Madrid.

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“Visa takes you places”, detail from the installation In the Same Boat [Image of what is believed to be Columbus superimposed on a Schengen Visa application form. Slogan of credit card company “Visa takes you places tagged over wheatpaste]

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_IGP8821Detail from the installation In the Same Boat.[ Wheatpaste of Columbus and crew arriving in the Bahamas, African migrants being picked up by Italian coast guard superimposed below], [Faux gold foil blanket with the Schengen visa application form as lining.

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In the same boat. Single channel video (no audio) [A visual stream of all the documents we have had to supply for the Schengen visa process superimposed on Madrid tourist video and footage of a boat in a storm from a popular Hollywood movie]

 

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The Mission and the Message: ‪#‎colonialproblems‬

The Mission and the Message: ‪#‎colonialproblems‬

performance from the show “Boundary Objects” at the Kunsthaus in Dresden.

“South Africa and Germany share a colonial and missionary history. As a collective, we have engaged with the specific missionary archives housed at the Moravian missionary station of Genadendal, South Africa and the Moravian headquarters at Herrnhut, Germany.

Through researching these archives and the history which they purport to have documented, in relation to our lived experiences through this history, we have come to recognise our position as products of missionary positions. We are not practicing Moravians nor do we subscribe to a missionary morality but we acknowledge our ancestry embedded in it. As such, we are a sort of ‘boundary object’, neither insider nor able to escape.

Historically, the archive has occupied a central position in history making. The reliance on text, documents, referencing and citation constitute a Eurocentric legacy of, and fetish for objectivity, facts and ‘truth’. It is a positivist methodology that lingers like an epistemological shadow. Arriving in Dresden with the baggage of colonial discourse, we blend the archive in a ‘boundary practise’ of connecting and disconnecting personal narratives with historical narratives, to arrive at a place where we can ask questions differently. We cut out, reframe ourselves in images and the images themselves. The images are collages of photographs from the Herrnhut archive about the mission stations of Genadendal and Elim, South Africa as well as our own personal visual archives.

The installation seeks to invert the binary of missionary and native, subject and object both visually and textually, to the extent that we assume the position of neo-missionary, returning “The Message”.

As a subset of the larger installation we present a performance, #colonialproblems, which attempts to address this objectification. The recording of the hymm ‘God be with you till we meet again’ comes from the farewell service of the one of our member’s great grandfather, a former Moravian minister.

BURNING MUSEUM