Sights and Sounds: Cambodia
November 8, 2013 – January 30, 2014
Sights and Sounds: Angola features new work by Binelde Hyrcan, Paulo Azevedo, Angel Ihosvanny Cisneros Felicidade, and Iris Buchholz Chocolate, selected by Suzana Souza.
The four artists whose work is featured in this exhibition – Binelde Hyrcan, Paulo Azevedo, Angel Ihosvanny Cisneros Felicidade, and Iris Buchholz Chocolate – blend imagination and history, revealing new narratives as they reinterpret Angolan stories. These four artists share a willingness to question, reflect upon, and tell stories from Angola, a young country, independent since 1975. Their videos are global in their use of language and visual elements. However, their storytelling is complicated by the way they present their subjects: more often than not, we find historical moments and cultural details reinterpreted, rather than presented in a natural way.
In some cases, only fragments of the real world are visible: the city walls of Luanda, for instance, as they appear in Ihosvanny’s Noise, or the partial view of Carnival and its traditions as seen in the slow-motion gestures of dancers in Azevedo’s work. Without the music and background crowds, the subject would be unrecognizable. Meanwhile, Chocolate offers her own poetic reading of the country by immersing herself in the local culture, past and present. And Hyrcan engages the viewer through the fantasy life of kids. For these artists, imagination and history connect and construct meaning, allowing the viewer to discover new narratives in otherwise known stories.
Suzana Sousa (b. Luanda, 1981) has a Master of Arts in postcolonial cultures and global policy at Goldsmiths College, University of London. An independent curator, she has worked in Angola since 2003.
Binelde Hyrcan, Cambeck, 2010, video, sound, 10 min., 11 sec. Artwork © Binelde Hyrcan, provided by Foundation Sindika Dokolo and Luis Silva Collections. Cambeck features a group of boys playing in a make-believe car in and around the beach in Luanda. Their banter is reminiscent of estiga, local slang for adult trash talk. Their mocking conversations pick up on local expression as filtered through children, demonstrating how humor is born from necessity.
Paulo Azevedo, Kazukuta 365 Degrees, 2012, video, sound, 3 min., 12 sec. Artwork © 2012 Paulo Azevedo. Inspired by Douglas Gordon, a contemporary artist whose 24 Hour Psycho famously presented the classic Hitchcock film screened at a glacial pace, Azevedo slows down the movements of kazukuta dancers. Kazukuta, a dance related to Carnival (Mardi Gras) in Luanda, is historically linked to colonialism, since it was one of the few cultural public practices allowed under Portuguese rule. For this reason it was used as a form of resistance in which colonialists and their relationship to native people were humorously caricatured.
Angel Ihosvanny Cisneros Felicidade, Noise, 2013, video, sound, 2 min., 52 sec. Artwork © Angel Ihosvanny Cisneros Felicidade. This video uses images and details of the artist’s mural paintings, layering and juxtaposing them with found images from Luanda. It evokes visual noise as much as the sounds the city.
Iris Buchholz Chocolate, Os sonhos do embondeiro (Baobab’s Dreams), 2012, video, sound, 14 min., 14 sec. Artwork © Iris Buchholz Chocolate. A baobab tree stands at sunset. A woman dances, clothed in sponges; as she moves, water sprays about her. The sponges evoke the baobab’s ability to absorb and expel water, a metaphor for artistic appropriation and reproduction, and for the way knowledge is shared. The tree itself stands as a symbol of knowledge and ancestral wisdom.
November 8, 2013 – January 30, 2014
January 31 - February 27, 2014
February 28 - March 27, 2014
March 28 - April 24, 2014
April 25 - May 29, 2014
June 27 - July 31, 2014
August 1 - 28, 2014
August 29 - September 28, 2014
September 29 - October 30, 2014
October 31 - November 25, 2014
November 28 - December 25, 2014
December 26, 2014 – January 29, 2015
January 30 - February 26, 2015
February 27 - March 26, 2015
March 27 - April 30, 2015
May 1 - 28, 2015
May 29 - June 25, 2015
June 26 - July 30, 2015
July 31 - August 27, 2015
August 28 - September 24, 2015
September 25 - October 29, 2015
October 30 - November 24, 2015
November 27 - December 31, 2015
January 2 - February 4, 2016