LET IT RAIN

Up on a neck of a sacred hill known as Njelele is a shrine comprising a level open ground, more or less the size of a basketball pitch, and, by its side, a cave with two chambers . With only two small paths approaching the shrine from opposite directions, the space around is covered by trees and large rocks, making it into an ideal natural sanctuary. It is here at the shrine that on special days during the year, usually in the darkness of night, the people that call to Mwali for rain and fertility gather for that purpose. Having slaughtered an offering bull, they roast the meat and eat it unsalted. Opaque home-brewed beer is shared and some of it is poured
to the ancestors on a rock. The drinking and eating is followed by the beating of drums, singing and dancing, activities that continue to the early hours of the morning.

Tumi Mogorosi’s installation presents an aesthetic response to research material provided by Kupakwashe Mtata. Zooming into rain-making celebrations at the Njelele Shrine in Matobo, Matabeleland in Zimbabwe, his jazz composition enters into a conversation with the rough and shaky visual notes recorded during research trips. Experienced as patterns of images and sound they evoke an atmosphere of anticipation but also of presence, of the “future” being already there. Different spiritual registers are in action such as Metatron, a mythical angel of mediation, and Njelele-based rituals of rain-making which are calling a future into being. The rain asked for here is not necessarily water drops from a cloudy sky but invokes other showers of blessings, too.

 

S.E.F.A.

We are more than happy to announce the performance S.E.F.A. by Nastio Mosquito for our exhibition opening on the 7th of November. Be prepared, that´s one you shouldn´t miss.

S.E.F.A.
Nástio Mosquito
2014
Live Performance
Courtesy Nástio Mosquito ©, Photo by Margaux Kolly ©

“Se Eu Fosse Angolano” (S.E.F.A.) is a conceptual audiovisual / live piece of work that, using contemporary society, draws a distinct tone when approaching, questioning and repositioning the usefulness of identity. All citizens part of “modern societies” on planet Earth, specially the ones living in communities that seek to reinvent themselves after decades of either inner individual conflict or civil blindness, are the target of this project. Not being a happy listen, it is full of hope and ambition for a better and greater future. A future that reaches beyond those nations to the people that make them.

On stage, the challenge of the project is, to bring to life the concept we call “The Deconstruction Of The Legitimacy Syndrome” as well as to have the ultimate standoff between identity and motivation.

Motivation, belief, faith and its tangibility, use and consequence are at the centre of the proposal. If we had a question it would be:

Can you really change a human without interacting, invading, changing what he believes?

At the end of the day it is just a show that through music, poetry, video projections and live performance will race towards the interaction we have with our own relationships, history, emotional ghosts, social celebrations and much more…”

SUSAN ARNDT

Susan Arndt is Professor of Transcultural Anglophone Studies at the University of Bayreuth. She studied literature, linguistics and cultural studies in Berlin and London and worked at the Universities of Oxford, Berlin, Frankfurt/Main and Bayreuth. Her major research interests are British, Anglophone and diasporic fiction as related to postcoloniality, gender, intertextuality, futurity, posthumanism and technology.

She is the author of Die 101 wichtigsten Fragen. Rassismus (München: C.H.Beck 2012, 2nd edition 2015),

The Dynamics of African Feminism. Defining and Classifying African Feminist Literatures (Trenton, NJ; Asmara: Africa World Press 2002) and African  Women’s Literature, Orature and Intertextuality (Bayreuth: Bayreuth African Studies) (1998).

TUMI MOGOROSI

Aged 28, SAMA award nominee, Tumi Mogorosi is increasingly building a reputation in the South African jazz scene among the new crop of young jazz musicians. Besides his intermittent formal studies at Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) which he completed in 2012, the young drummer has refined his brush strokes alongside prominent South African jazz musicians who count – among trumpeter Feya Faku, bassist Herbie Tsoaeli as well as Andile Yenana.

Tumi Mogorosi was also part of the Gauteng Jazz Orchestra which opened the stage for world- renowned American Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis during his 2011 premier of the Joy of Jazz. More remarkable is Tumi’s fresh and bold offering as a composer and leader on his debut CD, Project Elo, which was re-released in London by Jazzman Records 31 June 2014. Project Elo has also toured France in Dec 2014 and performed at the Trans Musicales Festival in Renne.

Within the project of the Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African Studies Mogorosi works together with Kupakwashe Mtata.

LONGWALK

Check out Kae Suns video

Being one of the participating artists, he will show his new video to the song LONGWALK in the upcoming exhibition! You can find a little preview here with Kae on Okayafrica

The collaboration took place in Bayreuth along with another artist presenting in the exhibition, designer Emeka Alams from Gold Coast Trading Company. For a little deeper inside, have a look at his interview with Art Nouveau Magazine Emeka on an-mag

Time flies and you better be ready for it!

NASTIO MOSQUITO

Nástio Mosquito born in 1981 in Angola, largely educated in Portugal, and now currently living in Belgium, Nástio Mosquito is emerging to be one of the most exciting artists of his generation and was recently awarded the Future Generation Art Prize. Rooted in the broadcast industry, where he worked previously as director and cameraman, his practice embraces video and music, performance and installation.

Theatrically, Mosquito takes centre stage in his work. He often assumes roles, through mimicry, in order to express ideas occurring to him, not so much as his own cherished beliefs but rather observations on human folly manifested in modern life. The distance between his actual identity and such characterisations enables him to express himself variously as being transgressive, cool, cynical, profane and vulgar. “Nástia”, a know-it-all with a Russian accent – a monster engendered by the Cold War – epitomises this tendency, and often makes an appearance.

Mosquito has performed at music festivals within the context of visual arts programmes – Biennale of Bordeaux (2009), Tate Modern (2012), Berardo Collection (2013) – whilst having a lively online presence, including an app, and a recently released album, Se Eu Fosse Angolano. Ikon presented DAILY LOVEMAKING, Nástio Mosquito’s first solo museum show from February –April 2015 in Birmingham

Previous group exhibitions include 9 Artists at Walker Art Center (2013); Politics of Representation, Tate Modern (2012); and the 29th São Paulo Biennial (2010).

KAE SUN

Kwaku Darko-Mensah Jnr., better known by his stage name Kae Sun, is a Ghanaian-born Canadian singer-songwriter and artist.

Kwaku was born in Accra, his parents had resettled in Ghana after being based in Germany for several years. He immigrated to Canada to study at the private boarding preparatory school Columbia International College and continued on to McMaster University both in Hamilton, Ontario. He received a degree in Multimedia and Philosophy from McMaster University. In Accra he had attended the renowned Achimota School where he first started writing and performing music.

While attending university, Kwaku started using the stage name Kae Sun, performing at local clubs and making demo recordings. He also started playing guitar and experimenting with different styles and sounds. He first gained some recognition when he was awarded a local music prize.

Kae Sun recorded and released his debut Lion On A Leash in 2009 largely funded by a grant from the Ontario Arts Council. He soon after re-located to Toronto. Lion On A Leash was well received among critics, garnering further recognition for Kae Sun.

Kwaku followed up his debut with the EP Outside The Barcode, a folky, pared-down collection of songs inspired by his return to Ghana after years of living in Canada. The song Firefly Dance from this collection was a KCRW Top Tune of the day.

“Afriyie” (2013)

Kae Sun’s second LP Afriyie was released in May 2013 and was co-produced by Kae Sun and production duo Science! (Joshua Sadlier-Brown and Marc Koecher). The record received favourable reviews from publications like exclaim and Afropunk. An MTV Iggy profile of the record said, ” With Afriyie, Kae Sun has managed to emerge as one of the most promising singer-songwriters in the international scene.” The tour for Afriyie included a set at the inaugural CBC music festival, support for the Toronto stop of Janelle Monae‘s Electric Lady Tour and solo engagements in Germany.

The song “Heart Healing Pulse” from Afriyie was included in the Strumbo Hundo 2013, television personality George Stroumboulopoulos‘s list of the top songs of that year. The Roots affiliated site OkayAfrica also lauded Afriyie as one of the best releases of 2013.

In April 2014, Kae Sun made his U.S debut at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, as part of the theatre’s Africa Now Festival.

“Ship and The Globe”, the lead single from Afriyie is featured in several episodes of “Its okay, Thats love”.

Kwaku’s music has been noted for its unique blend of influences owing to his background and personal history. He typically performs his songs on guitar either solo or backed by a band. His poetic lyrics have been noted as being both observational and personal often touching on spiritual, esoteric and socio-political themes. His singing often leans toward the melodic and impassioned with subtle inflections drawn from Soul and Folk traditions. According to MIT‘s The Tech, “Despite this unbridled exploration with sound and lyrics, Kae Sun colors his music with two virtues that seem to be of great importance to him – spirituality and honesty.” His work has at times been tagged Urban Folk, Indie Pop, World, Neo-Folk or Folk-Soul. Now magazine quotes him describing it as “Music. Pure and simple.”

DJ SPOOKY

DJ Spooky aka Paul D. Miller is the executive editor of ORIGIN Magazine and is a composer, multimedia artist, editor and author. His DJ MIXER iPad app has seen more than 12 million downloads in the last year. In 2012-2013 he is the first artist-in-residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC starting this fall. He’s produced and composed work for Yoko Ono, Thurston Moore, and scores of artists and award-winning films. Miller’s work as a media artist has appeared in the Whitney Biennial; The Venice Biennial for Architecture, the Ludwig Museum in Cologne, Germany; Kunsthalle, Vienna; The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh and many other museums and galleries. His book Sound Unbound, an anthology of writings on electronic music and digital media is a best-selling title for MIT Press. He has been featured everywhere from Elle to CNN to SyFy.

Miller’s deep interest in reggae and dub has resulted in a series of compilations, remixes and collections of material from the vaults of the legendary Jamaican label, Trojan Records. Other releases include Optometry (2002), a jazz project featuring some of the best players in the downtown NYC jazz scene, and Dubtometry (2003) featuring Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry and Mad Professor. Another of Miller’s collaborations, Drums of Death, features Dave Lombardo of Slayer and Chuck D of Public Enemy among others. He also produced material on Yoko Ono’s recent album Yes, I’m a Witch.

DJ Spooky’s Rebirth of a Nation was commissioned in 2004 by the Lincoln Center Festival; Spoleto Festival USA; Weiner Festwochen; and the Festival d’Automne a Paris. It was the artist’s first large-scale multimedia performance piece, and has been performed in venues around the world, from the Sydney Festival to the Herod Atticus Amphitheater, more than fifty times. The DVD version of Rebirth of a Nation was released by Anchor Bay Films/Starz Media in 2008.

DJ Spooky’s multimedia performance piece Terra Nova: Sinfonia Antarctica was commissioned by BAM for the 2009 Next Wave Festival; The Hopkins Center/Dartmouth College; UCSB Arts & Lectures; Melbourne International Arts Festival; and the Festival dei 2 Mondi in Spoleto, Italy. With video projections and a score composed by DJ Spooky, performed by a piano quartet, Terra Nova: Sinfornia Antarctica is a portrait of a rapidly transforming continent.

In August 2009, DJ Spooky visited the Republic of Nauru in the Micronesian South Pacific to do research and gather material for The Nauru Elegies: A Portrait in Sound and Hypsographic Architecture., a collaboration with artist/architect Annie Kwon, first presented at Experimenta in Melbourne, Australia in February 2010. In January 2010. Miller was commissioned by German radio to write the composition “Terra Nullius”.

In 2011, Miller released a graphic design project exploring the impact of climate change on Antarctica through the prism of digital media and contemporary music compositions that explored the idea of “acoustic portraits” of Antarctica entitled “The Book of Ice” (Thames and Hudson/Mark Batty Publisher). The Book of Ice is includes an introduction by best selling author and quantum physicist Brian Greene, author, The Elegant Universe. The Book of Ice is a multi-media installation, a music composition for string quartet, and a book, and it has been included in the 2011 Gwangju Biennial, by Korean architect Seung H-Sang and Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei.

PICTURE: DJ Spooky Architecture Concert (projected mapping of structure) at Kernel Festival, Villa Tittoni Traversi Desio, Italy July 1,2,3, 2011