Congoville

Contemporary artists tracing colonial tracks

Exhibition

Both the Middelheim Museum and the University of Antwerp are situated where the Colonial College was founded in 1920. Exactly a hundred years later, this is the occasion for the Middelheim Museum to examine and unfold the traces of the (post) colonial history of the site. It does so by bringing together new historical research with contemporary artistic views.
Saturday 29 May 2021 - Sunday 03 October 2021 from 10:00 to 17:00
Individual visitors

Sandrine Colard uses Congoville as a collective name for physical and mental traces of the colonial past in Belgium. These traces are often hidden in plain sight and continue to have a conscious or unconscious effect in today’s society. They include street names, buildings, monuments and myths, but also experiences borne by people with African roots. The Middelheim site is also part of this invisible city. For the exhibition, 15 international artists, in the role of ‘black flâneurs’, take the visitor on a walk in the park. They guide us in a quest to represent once again an open and shared public space, and on the basis of their artistic practice they present new and different perspectives to a history that is often told from a single perspective. Together with Leuven University Press, Middelheim Museum is publishing an exhibition catalogue in which, alongside interviews with the artists, numerous authors, academics and experts zoom in and out on the project. Both the book and the exhibition are postponed until summer 2021 because of the impact of the Corona crisis.

Participating artists: Sammy Baloji (DRC/BE), Bodys Isek Kingelez (DRC), Maurice Mbikayi (DRC/SA), Jean Katambayi (DRC), KinAct collective (DRC/BE/FR), Simone Leigh (US), Hank Willis Thomas (US), Zahia Rahmani (FR), Ibrahim Mahama (GH), Angela Ferreira (PT), Kapwani Kiwanga (CAN/FR), Sven Augustijnen (BE), Pascale Marthine Tayou (CAM/BE), Elisabetta Benassi (IT), Pélagie Gbaguidi (BEN/BE)

Sandrine Colard (BE/US) is curator and assistant professor of African Art History at Rutgers University, Newark.

 

In the run-up to the exhibition, we talked to some interesting guests.

During Congoville Talk # 1, colonial traces, which are often hidden in plain sight and still affect our society today, are discussed through the prism of music and from intergenerational perspective. Kevin Mambele, Klay Mawungu and Nanakill take the floor, hosted by Primrose Ntumba.

Concept development: Primrose Ntumba
Direction: Ahefa Productions
Music: Kevin Mambele
Film: studio COSMO

 

Photo: Pascale Marthine Tayou, Colored Stones (detail), 2018
Courtesy the artist and GALLERIA CONTINUA, exhibition view Hedges, Edges, Dirt - ICA / VCU, Richmond, USA, 2018. 
© ADAGP, Paris. Photo by David Hunter Hale for ICA / VCU.