10 – 17 December 2016
Palazzo Mora, Venice (Italy)
Preview: 10 December 2016, 6pm
UNDER A DIFFERENT SUN. Obscured Histories, Female Perspectives is an exhibition, live performances and discursive programme, curated by EX NUNC in the framework of the third edition of VENICE INTERNATIONAL PERFORMANCE ART WEEK, Fragile Body – Material Body. The project delves into topics of lost histories and negated memories, and will present the work of Nathalie Mba Bikoro (Gabon/UK/Germany), Jeannette Ehlers (Denmark), Ato Malinda (Kenya) and Lerato Shadi (South Africa/Germany).
The exhibition showcases recent works by the four participating artists, alongside performances by Natahlie Mba Bikoro and Jeannette Ehlers. UNDER A DIFFERENT SUN features performative works that take into account fragmented and submerged historical narratives, systematically marginalised and/or negated by Western historiography. The authors, artists from Africa Diasporas, choose liminal, sharp perspectives, which cast new lights on silences realities. The female gaze and gesture is once again able to awake the presence of the – only apparently – lost.
The performance programme includes Jeannette Ehlers’ piece, Whip It Good **, which reenacts of one of the most brutal means of punishment during slavery – the whipping – in a simple, yet tense rebellion against oppression in the past and present; and Nathalie Mba Bikoro’s durational piece, Last Sundance, a performance exercise in colonial memory, denouncing the post-colonial urban systems against indigenous communities.
** The performance Whip it Good was first commissioned by Artlabour Archives and Ballhaus Naunynstrasse, Berlin 2013
Nathalie Mba Bikoro is a conceptual artistof Gabonese descent currently based in Berlin, Germany. Bikoro uses live art practices and digital photography story-telling to create living and performative archives, contesting the nature of our cultures, histories and identity. She is Associate Lecturer in Philosophy and Arts History and Curator of Performance Programmes at SAVVY Contemporary gallery in Berlin. She is director of Squat Museum in Gabon and Artistic Director of Squat Monument & Future Monuments. Her most recent significant contributions have been shown in Dak’Art Biennale Senegal (2012); Smithsonian Museum of African Art Washington DC (2013); Tiwani Contemporary London (2012); Kalao Pan African Galleries Bilbao (2014); 798 Art District Gallery Beijing (2015); Museum of African Art Johannesburg (2011); Michael Stevenson Gallery Cape Town (2011); Tate Britain London (2009); Pitts Rivers Oxford Museum UK (2014); Bedfordbury Gallery London (2010); South London Gallery (2010); and Art15 Fair London (2015). She is the recipient of several awards including Fondation Blachère and Afrique Soleil Mali for Best Artist awarded at the 10th Dakar Biennale (2012), Best Discovery Award at New York Cutlog (2013), Ercillas Prize for Best Exhibition Award at FIG Bilbao (2014), NSB Best Artist of the Year Award in Norbotten Sweden (2011), as well as the prize for Best Performance Art Award in Finland presented by Presentatiioo (2011). She was recently speaker in the TAZ.Lab Open Conferences at Haus Der Kulturen Der Welt presenting Decolonial Cities. She is also part of the Goethe Institute’s programme Episodes of the South in São Paulo.
Jeannette Ehlers is a multimedia artist, based in Copenhagen, Denmark. She graduated from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts 2006. Experimental nature generally characterizes Jeannette Ehlers’ work. Image manipulation is often included in the artist’s photographic and video-based works. On these changeable terms meaning and identity are explored, in both a sophisticated and immediate way. For years she has created cinematic universes that delve into ethnicity and identity inspired by her own Danish / West Indian background. She challenges and explores the film medium’s ability to communicate in a visually fascinating and engaging language. Creating imaginative stories with edge and sharpness, her work still retain the broad appeal. Her pieces revolve around big questions and difficult issues, such as Denmark’s role as a slave nation - part of the Danish cultural heritage, which often gets overlooked in the general historiography. In the Spring 2014 Jeannette Ehlers had a major solo presentation of her works at Nikolaj Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center. Her works were also part of the group show CARIBBEAN: Crossroads of the World, Pérez Art Museum Miami as well as DAK’ART 2014, Biennale of Dakar, Senegal among more.
Ato Malinda holds a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) from Transart Institute, New York. Her works consist of performance, drawing, painting, installation, video, and ceramic object-making. Through her diverse practice, Malinda investigates the hybrid nature of African identity,contesting notions of authenticity, as well as focuses on gender and sexuality. Malinda was one of the awardees of the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship (2015) and won the One Minutes Award (2012) for moving photography. Her solo shows include “Games” (2013) at SAVVY Contemporary, and “Incommensurable Identities” (2011) at Aarhus Art Building. She has exhibited in group exhibitions at Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main (2014), the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution (2015), Salon Urbain de Douala in Cameroon (2010) and the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Copenhagen (2015). Malinda was among the participating artist to Focus: African Perspectives at 2016 Armory Show.
Lerato Shadi is a multimedia artist, originally from South Africa and based in Berlin. She completed a BFA in Fine Art from the University of Johannesburg. In 2008 she was a featured artist in Art South Africa magazine, and in 2009 she was included in The Generational: ‘Younger Than Jesus artists-directory’ published by the New Museum, New York. In 2010 she was awarded a Pro Helvetia residency in Bern, Switzerland. In the same year she had her solo show Mosako Wa Seipone at GoetheOnMain in Johannesburg. From 2010 to 2012 she was a member of the Bag Factory artist studios in Fordsburg, Johannesburg. In 2012 her work was featured at the Dak’art Biennale, and in the III Moscow International Biennale. She is a fellow of Sommerakademie 2013 (Zentrum Paul Klee) and completed in the same year a residency program by invitation of Iniva at Hospitalfield (supported by ROSL). In the following year her performance, Makhubu was showcased at Iniva in London. Shadi was awarded with the mart stam studio grant, Berlin in 2014. In 2015 she performed and installed her Seriti Se show at Gallery Wedding in Berlin and in 2016 she presented the solo exhibition DI DIKADIKA TSA DINALEDI, at the gallery GoetheOnMain in Johannesburg. Currently she is completing the MFA at the Kunsthochschule Berlin Weissensee.