Pop up multimedia exhibition in a house listed for demolition.
The director of The Nafasi Art Space, Jan Van Esch, choose 8 visual artists: Amani Abeid, Ebony Verbond, Rehema Chachage, Miguel Costales, Cloud Chatanda and Nicholas Calvin Jan van Esch himself and myself. “So it’s a house with character, where every artist chose a room and decided to do in it what he felt. This is how the whole thing came about”.
For this exhibition which is also kind of Jan’s farewell, he proposed the artists to work on a 70’s song from Joni Mitchell called ‘The last time I saw’.
It directly guided my mind to the topic of memory and senses.
Half of my artworks have been done on paper : I used it as a metaphoric skin which is connected to the hippocampus. I also exhibited two photographies and two paintings which are snapshots of Dar es Salaam’s nightlife, like a reminiscence of african lights in my insomnia’s nights.
Walk. Shoot. Hold your camera tight. Smile. Shoot. Jump into a badjaj’. Shoot again… I love to go and take pictures in the evening when the night’s atmosphere and insecurity gives the picture a sense of urgency.
Deep in the bosom of the gentle night
Is when I search for the light
Pick up my pen and start to write
I struggle, fight dark forces in the clear moon light
Without fear, insomnia, I can’t get no sleep
– Faithless, Insomnia –
Nightcall I & II.
One thing I will always recall if I leave Africa is the lights in the very early mornings. The natural light of a new day and those very specific of big African growing cities. Their mix is creating a kind of vibration.
Every nerve connected to the spine is like a potential way of introspection. You have to arm yourself with patience to untangle every single link to the way of self-understanding.
In love, the smell of skin is a sign of recognition. I do have an olfactive memory. I am afraid of the disappearance of their smell as it was the first thing I fell in love with. What is remaining when sensitive memory has vanished with death ?
There are some games children like to play…to peel the skin off after sunburn, to peel wallpaper when they pass, to lift caps and open drawers. The skin’s walls is our common memory. Under the coats, not only the past but many stories and secrets.
The paper is a skin/The skin is a Memory… made of scars, nerves, cells which are bridges connecting us to ourselves and interconnecting us with others. I used to be ashamed by my scars, stains and body’s changes. I was trying to hide them. I am not anymore as I know they are telling a story of my life. On my skin, I have maps of all the suns under which I have lived, patterns of my falls, lines to guide me to my treasures and scars to remind me, traces of time. Our skin is what gather us.
The lace is a part of my memories from Belgium. It has always found a place in our grandmother’s interior. it has enveloped most of us in our baptism’s dresses, it has accompanied some of us on our wedding. Such as the catholic religion in Belgium which is a part of our culture and our education either we trust or not. We are not as simple some would like to reduce us but made of complex branches like webs of lace.