Our (spatial) stories live in performative futures by Icaro February 16, 2022 0 Exhibitions, News

Exhibition: Our (spatial) stories live in performative futures

Curated by: Cindy Sissokho & Fabián Villegas

Opening: February 25th, 2022 – 6pm to 9pm

Dates: Exhibition open until March 19th, from Wednesday to Saturday, between 3pm and 7pm

Place: R. Damasceno Monteiro, 12 R/C | 1170-112 – Lisboa

Artists: Rafael De Oliveira, Désirée Desmarattes, Theo Gould, Henrique J. Paris, Lion
Maré Djaci, Odair Monteiro, Nuno Silas, Sofia Yala.

© Nuno Silas

Every regime of colonial representation is built on the erasure, the silencing, the devastation of cultural ecosystems, existential geographies, emotional cartographies. The image is preceded by sounds, the colonial gaze erases sounds, strips context and objects of representation. It strips the object off representation of its own conception of space and temporality.

Through photography, texts, sounds, performance and video, the eight artists create spaces of intimacy for the everyday, collectively create tools that uncover family narratives, diasporic itineraries and archive the self in processes of self-actualisation and claiming one’s existence outside of a colonial gaze and temporality.

The artist does so through self/-portraiture, connecting through family objects as systems of transmission and historical recovery of counter memories. They bring this narration within a ‘home’ – the family homes, the bedroom, the photographic studio as a safe space and even the body – capturing the vernacular of the diaspora, claiming Black presence in the city entrenched within colonial narratives/monuments and to projects ‘home’ as a space for emancipatory and utopic horizons of collective living.

Through exercises of insurgency and political imagination, the diaspora dialogue with the spaces of monumentality in the city by activating spaces of memory, creates self-cartographic journeys, counter-monumental archives of anti-colonial legacy.

How does the regime of images have a role in informing future planning, utopic vision and dynamic desires around living in cities for the diaspora? Through the depiction and understanding of the movement that occurs (labor stratification, migration, social mobility, cultural and economic zonification etc.) against the current narratives of rejection, transformation, gentrification, and so on.

The exhibition is a pedagogical journey that not only displays but seeks for exercise of radical and social imagination of diasporic narratives in the future. It makes us question what are the metaphors of ourselves in the future.

The artists’ works are an invitation to fictionalise narratives, and a possibility to seek through fiction a pedagogical tool to visualize performative futures. The exhibition indirectly refers to the historical concept of “Heterotopias” and the resonance with the category of “localized utopias”, in which we build worlds within worlds, a new sense of spatiality into the colonial regime of spatiality.

With the supported
UCREATE is a Creative Europe project taking place in Belgium, Hungary, Portugal and Italy led by 4 artistic organizations (International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation (BE); HANGAR (PT); Mus-e Hungary (HUN); BIG SUR (IT)) aiming to use the arts and artistic co-creation as a means for creating social bonds between individuals.

Fabian Villegas
Writer, journalist, spoken word artist, scholar and researcher in South epistemologies, decolonial thoughts and racial studies. Since 2007 to date, Fabian Villegas has been invited to give multiple conferences, seminars, lectures and workshops in various universities and academic centers, renowned art biennials and community cultural centers across the globe (México, Dominican Republic, France, Spain, Puerto Rico, Brasil, Uruguay, Argentina, Guatemala, Dubai, Morocco, Costa Rica, U.S, Venezuela, Belice. He is also the co-founder of Contranarrativas, a collaborative project that seeks to create horizontal knowledge production spaces to stimulate the visibility, dissemination, and production of decolonial epistemologies, narratives and peripheral aesthetics of the Global South. Born in Mexico City, Villegas currently resides in the Dominican Republic.

Cindy Sissokho
Cindy Sissokho (France) is a curator, cultural producer and writer with a specific interest in intellectual, political and artistic aspects of decoloniality within the arts, and culture. Her curatorial practice is nurtured by the urgency to broaden and disseminate epistemologies and cultural production from racialized and systemically marginalized perspectives.

Recent exhibition projects include this is a love poem, (2021) curated at EXILE Gallery, Vienna for the international contemporary arts festival Curatedby (Austria) and Breaking Translation(s) (2021) an online exhibition for HANGAR, Lisbon (Portugal). Upcoming exhibition projects will be the curation of Black Tales, a multimedia sound installation by artists Mónica De Miranda and Xullaji for Refuge, the 4th edition of the Lagos Biennale 2023 (Nigeria).

Her practice is also informed through multiple formats of engagement such as talks and pedagogical workshops. Most recent activities were How to Articulate (A) Collective Gaze(s)? in collaboration with Fabián Villegas in 2020 for both Les Rencontres d’Arles (France) and HANGAR, Lisbon (Portugal).

She articulates and brings curatorial and theoretical reflections through writings including art reviews and interviews for Ocula, Terremoto, The Sole Adventurer, The Kitchen, NYC and Nka: The Contemporary African Art Journal, and publication commissions.

She also has a great interest in artist development and artistic consultancy that translate into frequent mentoring roles and portfolio reviews. The most recent being with the PhMuseum, Bologna (Italy) and the annual FORMAT Photography Festival, Derby (UK).

She currently works as a Curator and Special Projects Producer at the New Art Exchange in Nottingham (UK).