The third and last chapter of the exhibition project MOVEMENT/HISTORY brings to conclusion EX NUNC’s months-long reflection on the topic of movement as agent of history, initiator and agitator of historical narratives, facilitator for knowledges’ sharing and transmission.
M/HIII ELSEWHERE, HERE discusses the broad concept of displacement, as social, geographical and identitarian instability, mutability and complexity. The exhibition presents the condition of the displaced as a state of dispersion and enrichment, which concerns single individuals and communities alike: diasporians, migrants, travellers, strangers, aliens, transformers. M/HIII calls for an understanding of eradication and removal as heralds of a higher level of personal and collective awareness; being in two places at the same time, here and elsewhere, is being able to look at oneself and others both from the inside and the outside, to comprehend time, memory and histories as interwoven constellations of gaps, juxtapositions and overlaps.
The exhibition features works by multimedia artists Em’kal Eyongakpa and Syowia Kyambi, whose practices are shaped by very distinctive approaches to the question of movement and its connection with cultural and personal memories. Both authors investigate displacement as a crucial theoretical and aesthetical theme.
Em’kal Eyongakpa’s video Letters from etokobarek, 1-i is a work in progress, based on the multimedia installation ?? Full moons later / Letters from Etokobarek(Europe). The piece is a kaleidoscopic hymn to change and transformation, a composite flux of images, words and sounds describing a condition of perpetual motion; the diary of a traveller in space and time.
Eyongakpa’s takes inspiration from his travels across Europe and the World, to create this peculiar aesthetic representation of colliding geographies, shifting and interchanging historical narratives and systems of knowledge. The work reveals, as much as it hides, a vast net of shared memories and cultural references, which run from the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean straight to the Mediterranean shores. Letters from etokobarek, 1-I tells a plural and collective story of transformation and displacement, pointing out recurrent elements: those secret alphabets and codes of emotion and sense, which are somehow immutable, as they belong to humanity as a whole.
The photo-collages composing the work Rose’s Relocation portray the character of Rose, in her struggle to adapt to a new environment. Syowia Kyambi first created Rose for her performance Fracture (i); here the story of this woman is taken further, as she tries to find the familiar in a new town.
In this piece, Kyambi works on the superimposing of past and present, here and there. Rose’s Relocation addresses displacement as a very intimate yet deeply political phenomenon, which implies estrangement from current times and spaces, as well as the urgency to integrate endangered memories in the flow of everyday reality. In the photos, we see Rose’s figure dissolving into images of her mother’s house, her body overlapping those of others who walk her same streets, both in the present and in the past. Syowia Kyambi chooses to represent displacement as a constant process of re-negotiations, with the external world as well as with one’s own inner being.