OCEANS APART

Oceans Apart is a multimedia presentation incorporating a two-part projected video and music from the new EP by Ghanaian-Canadian singer-songwriter Kae Sun, directed by Simon Rittmeier with Emeka Alams from Gold Coast Trading as the creative mind. The visual narrative examines notions of belonging and home through the personal and voyeuristic relationship of an asylum seeker and a young female student in a nondescript small town in Germany. Both film and EP explore the current social dilemma of displaced persons through the emotional, spiritual, and relational experience rather than the sociopolitical. For gallery presentations, Oceans Apart is presented as a split-screen projection (on two screens or two white walls). The screens portray the points of view of both protagonists. The point of view of each protagonist is accompanied by a song from the Oceans Apart EP. Videos and music are looped, and a listening station is set up, facilitating an exclusive listen to the full, unreleased EP. Music at the listening station is played via cassette tape. The video footage was captured on VHS and cell phone camera in Germany and the Ivory Coast. The total run time for the piece is approximately 10 minutes. Oceans Apart was conceived by long-time collaborators Kae Sun and Emeka Alams of Gold Coast Trading Company with the co-direction of filmmaker and visual artist Simon Rittmeier.

“Where are you?”.

The prevailing impulse in the experience of being alive is alienation, a sort of spiritual exile.

The desire for happiness is a desire for belonging, a return to eden if you will. Everything people have ever touched, every invention, every poem, song, every prayer ever uttered is haunted by this impulse. Of the two events that shape our existence, birth and death, the latter is the more mysterious, seemingly. The reality of death, the inevitability of it and the fact that it cannot be mediated, the fact that it escapes our capacity to reason with and through it heightens this alienation so that the desire for belonging extends past our immediate physical condition into other worlds we imagine through our creative, philosophical, political and religious endeavours. So the question of what you’ve done with your life becomes a question of what you’ve done with your exile. Oceans Apart is our way of examining this notion of exile using the very current social dilemma of displaced persons or those seeking a better situation, a better point of view, a better reference point for their lives and those of their loved ones.

We’re perhaps peeling back the layers a little bit and making this more about the spiritual and relational condition of not belonging and not so much the socio-political one, we hope that you could partner with us to achieve this goal or at best pose the question eloquently through this piece of ours.

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…”

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).

KARA LYNCH

kara lynch is a time-based artist living en exilio in Brooklyn, NY. Born in the auspicious year of 1968. Ambivalent towards hyper-visual culture, she is curious about duration, embodiment, and aural experience ; and through collective practice and social intervention lynch explores aesthetic/political relationships between time + space. Her work is vigilantly raced, classed, and gendered – Black, queer and feminist. kara is a member of Interdiciplinario, La Linea, a feminist artist collective on the Tijuana/San Ysidro border. She completed her MFA in Visual Arts at UCSD, a Permaculture Design Certification from the Center for Bioregional Living, and and has been a research fellow in the African and African Diaspora Studies Department, University of Texas, Austin and the Academy for Advanced African Studies at Bayreuth University in Germany. She currently earns a living as an Associate Professor of Video and Critical Studies at Hampshire College in Amhest, MA.

Major projects include: ‘Invisible’ – an episodic, speculative installation and performance project; ‘Mouhawala Oula’ – a trio performance for oriental dance, live video and saxophone, ‘Black Russians’ – a feature-length documentary; and ‘The Outing’ – a video travelogue. Awards for her video and performance work include iFilms and PlanetOut and Individual artist grants from Lila Wallace, NYFA, NYSCA, Paul Robeson Foundation, and Franklin Furnace. She has participated in various artist residencies: Arts International Residency in Moscow; the Banff Centre for the Arts; el Laboratorio Fronterizo de Escritores/Writing Lab on the Border; and the Civitella Ranieri Center in Italy. She is published in XCP Streetnotes, Ulbandus Review, BFM, contributed audio to Cabinet Magazine, video to PocketMyths, and drawings/writings to the Encyclopedia Project v.II F-K. lynch is currently co-editing the forthcoming anthology: We Travelled the Spaceways Black Imagination, Fragments and Diffractions.

EMEKA ALAMS

Emeka Alams was born in Nigeria and his name has a strong meaning: God has done something wonderful
He has spent his life between western Africa, Europe and the States. He feels like a semi-homeless person, and can’t help but feel nostalgic about Africa from New York, city where he currently lives and works. The strong feeling of belonging to the continent fills his spirit and the one of Gold Coast Trading, the brand he has created.
Emeka sets a date in the story of his journey Live from the coast for when it all began, it’s 1444, the same year in which European colonists began the deportation of the first Africans. The first breaking point with a cultural world filled with suggestion that the African continent is trying hard to defend today and that those that have grown in the States or in Europe are loosing.

– See more at: http://www.vogue.it/en/vogue-black/the-black-blog/2011/04/gold-coast-trading#sthash.N3eK3Oxv.dpuf

picture: Amber French

KITSO LYNN LELLIOTT

Kitso Lynn Lelliott is a filmmaker and artist based in Johannesburg South Africa. She has Bachelors degree in Fine Art and a Masters in Film and Television from The University of the Witwatersrand. Her work is preoccupied with articulations from positions beyond epistemic power and opening up spaces where the huge silences of subjectivities that have been written out can come into view. She is interested in ways that narratives and histories become privileged, those that proliferate being those that reflect and reinstate the power structures of globalisation as it has emerged from a colonial and imperial past. Her preoccupation lies in ways historical narratives shape our contemporary world and processes of revisionist re-membering of histories as a way of engaging memories, traumas and ghosts of the past.

Her work has shown at film festivals and exhibited in galleries and museum shows around the world including Africa in Motion, Cine Sud, Cap au Sud, Tri-Continental FF, Next Reel FF, the Uganda Museum, Galerija101 Lithuania, the Goethe on Main, Nubuke Foundation gallery in Accra and Johannesburg Art Gallery. She participated in the Durban Talent Campus and the Berlinale Talents. Kitso is alumna of the CCA Lagos Asiko art school residency at the 2014 Dak’Art Biennale. She was named as one of the Mail and Guardian’s 2014 leading 200 young South Africans, is laureate of the 2015 Visas pour la création Grant awarded by the French Institute and will exhibit in the Bamako Encounters 2015. She is currently working through video and installation dealing with socio-cultural formations that took shape over the Atlantic during the African slave trade, a project initiated during a two-month artist’s residency in Brazil supported by the UNESCO Aschberg Bursaries program and the Sacatar Foundation. She is pursuing her PhD, which is concerned with narratives of and enunciations form spaces of elision and the imaginative relationship between the African Diaspora in Brazil and the west coast of Africa.

JAMES MURIUKI

James Muriuki is a Nairobi based art practitioner who has primarily used photography and lens-based media in his work. His practice constantly revolves around the transition of society through specific objects that are often the extension of personal and communal bearings. His works explore the confluence of inter-dependent happenings in an ever-changing social landscape. He uses forms such as architecture and constructions as visual elements and metaphorical symbols that are an illustration of human capacity, desire and aspirations.

He is also interested in experimenting with and investigating the potential of images, specifically photography and motion, video, sound as mediums and processes of making art and ultimately as a knowledge reservoirs and transmission channels.

James’ work has been exhibited and collected in many countries and included in several publications. He has collaborated with artists, attended residencies and workshops in several countries as well as being a grants recipient. He has curated several exhibitions individually and collaboratively in Nairobi and abroad.

March 2015