DEVELOPED WITH SYOWIA KYAMBI IN COLLABORATION WITH OSLO KUNSTFORENING AND GOETHE INSTITUT
19 OCTOBER – 19 NOVEMBER
In October and November I am part of the Carrying Histories residency in Oslo. The residency explores personal and cultural histories through process and discussion. Unpacking the burden of working with historical material, it aims to build cross cultural awareness of past and present power structures. Conversations developed within the residency group will be presented to Oslo audiences through a series of public events. This residency is open to anyone with relevant interest and experience in the topic, be they artist, curator, writer, anthropologist, historian, educator, dancer etc.
In articulating her thoughts for the residency, Syowia Kyambi (KE) writes “I enter the world as this, how will I leave it? We carry our histories on our backs, hunched over and barely heard, constantly swimming against the stream. The body is a site of trauma. The body holds, codes and re-codes, sharing a multitude of layered stories. Body memory expresses itself in a non-linear timeline, presenting pasts beyond our experienced past resulting in repeated onslaught of distress. Collective history weaves a web in the memory of our contemporary bodies. We still live in sexist and racist environs, and so are bound to navigate the nuances of identity.
The history of where our bodies come from is a crucial element to my making process. We have to go into the nuances of identity and one way that we can do that is through the methodology of ‘autohistoria’. Coined by Gloria Anzaldúa, autohistoria involves “outlining the potential of plural, ambivalent, unstable, and performative expressions of the self, so as to allow for the dissemination of personal, depolarized narratives” (Pg. 155. Kaila, Jan, Anita Seppä and Henk Slager. Futures of Artistic Research: At the Intersection of Utopia, Academia and Power. Helsinki: Academy of Fine Arts, Uniarts Helsinki, 2017). To repeat, reuse, rewrite and layer creates rituals which resist the normative narratives that support exploitive power structures.
I am interested to continue to develop the tools I use to re-appropriate and reclaim autonomy through the body, performance, and sharing processes with others, and to learn from the toolkits that others bring to the residency.
See more information about the residency
and the ten participating artists here.
ABOUT SYOWIA KYAMBI //Kyambi’s practice probes issues of race, perception, gender and memory. Her work examines how contemporary human experience is influenced by constructed histories, creating installations that include a performative practice to narrate stories and activate objects, exploring cultural identities, linking them to issues of loss, memory, race, and gender.
More information is available at www.syowiakyambi.com.