McKenzie Wark with Samson Kambalu on the Situationist International at MAO

Samson Kambalu, Sanguinetti’s Cell, 2021. New Liberia, installation view at Modern Art Oxford, 2021. Photo by Mark Blower.

Please join us on Tuesday 8 June from 6.30-7.30pm for a free online event with writer and scholar McKenzie Wark and artist Samson Kambalu.

McKenzie Wark will be joined by Samson Kambalu as she responds to Kambalu’s current exhibition at Modern Art Oxford New Liberia, and his use of détournement, a practice of playful appropriation developed by the French avant-garde group, the Situationist International.

This event is part of the Humanities Cultural Programme at TORCH (The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities). Book free tickets

FOURTH PLINTH PROPOSALS REVEALED

Samson Kambalu is proposing “Antelope” a restaging of a photograph from 1914 showing Reverend John Chilembwe (1871-1915) and his friend, the British missionary John Chorley.

The work would shine light on the Baptist pastor, who believed in a unified African nation. The photograph was taken at the church Chilembwe constructed and opened in 1914. He has his hat on, defying the colonial rule that forbade Africans from wearing hats in front of white people. A year later he was killed while leading an uprising against colonial rule.

Chilembwe was first Pan-Africanist to die resisting colonialism in the early 20th century. He quietly inspired figures of black liberation such as Marcus Garvey and WEB Du Bois.

A GAME OF WAR: SANGUINETTI V KAMBALU TRIAL AT OSTEND (TRAILER)

Now showing as part of Samson Kambalu’s solo show New Liberia at Modern Art Oxford, 22 May – 5 September 2021. Watch the full film here.

Twee-eiige Drieling and S Kambalu Productions Presents:

Samson Kambalu

A Game of War: Kambalu v Sanguinetti Trial at Ostend

In 2014 the Italian Situationist Gianfranco Sanguinetti sold his archive to Yale University’s Beinecke Library in a move his critics saw as going against the Situationist spirit of the potlatch. In 2015, on fellowship at Yale, the Malawi born artist Samson Kambalu photographed the whole archive and at the invitation of Okwui Enwezor exhibited the archive at Venice Biennale with an aim to put it back in public domain. Sanguinetti sued Kambalu and the Biennale demanding closure of the installation, pulping of the Biennale catalogue and a fee of 20000 euros for each day of delay. Sanguinetti did not win the case at Venice and owes Kambalu legal fees. In August 2020 the case was heard again in a Belgian court at Ostend, according to continental law regarding parody and authors’ rights.

Dedicated to Okwui Enwezor

Samson Kambalu and Mu.ZEE represented by Didier Deneuter
Gianfranco Sanguinetti represented by Elisabeth Daem
Judge: George Martyn
Situationist scholar: Sven Lütticken
Registrar: Tobias Van Royen

Produced by Twee-eiige Drieling and Mu.ZEE Oostende
Directed by Tobias Van Royen, Samson Kambalu and Jens Van Lathem
Edited by Ychäi Gassenbauer
Sound edit by Michel Bystranowski
Cinematography and sound by Heleen Declercq, Jaan Stevens and Neal Willaert
Translation and transcript by Stan Antheunis

With thanks to Mieke Mels, Ilse Roosens, Phillip Van Den Bossche, Vincent Meessen, Julie Van Elslande, Emma Ridgway, Amy Budd, Mu.ZEE Oostende, Mats Van Herreweghe, Lara Staal, Jan Desmet, Leo Vuylsteke, Ivan, Robin Goossens, Margo Veeckman, Modern Art Oxford

Samson Kambalu / Twee-eiige Drieling 2021

SAMSON KAMBALU: NEW LIBERIA, MODERN ART OXFORD 22.5-5.9.21

Samson Kambalu: New Liberia, Modern Art Oxford, 22.5 – 5.9.21

New Liberia comes out of the time lag between aspects of early 20th century Malawian modernist cultures and various emancipatory social and political movements.” – Samson Kambalu

For his largest solo exhibition, Samson Kambalu’s powerful installation creates the atmosphere of an initiation ceremony for a utopia of international racial justice that equally values each person. This idea of a ‘New Liberia’ marks a mass change in attitudes, sparked by the pandemic and global Black Lives Matter protests in 2020.

Kambalu’s exhibition is also grounded in the events of his African childhood, watching makeshift cinema and Nyau dances of ancestral costumes (a secret society of the Chewa, the largest indigenous group in Malawi), and enjoying playground swaps of national flag cards, whilst living under a dictatorship that came after British colonial rule.

Drawing from three centuries of philosophy, social pioneers and Malawian culture, Kambalu’s playful exhibition balances colour, humour and intelligence. Combining video, images, texts and sculptures, the exhibition exudes what the artist has become celebrated for: his vivid imagination and outstanding creativity.

SAMSON KAMBALU IS SHORTLISTED FOR THE FOURTH PLINTH

Samson Kambalu who has been shortlisted for the Fourth Plinth Commission.

The artists shortlisted for the next two Fourth Plinth Commissions are Samson Kambalu, Goshka Macuga, Nicole Eisenman, Ibrahim Mahama, Teresa Margolles and Paloma Varga Weisz.

The maquettes of the proposed works will be exhibited at The National Gallery from late May to July 2021. The two winning commissions will be announced this summer and unveiled in Trafalgar Square in 2022 and 2024 respectively.

SEMINAR 2 ON JOHN RUSKIN

Seminar Series on John Ruskin | 09 March 2021 | Seminar 2 | Part 3-6

by Samson Kambalu, Ruskin School of Art and Emma Ridgway, Modern Art Oxford

Second Guild: Some Remarks on the Turning St Crumpet

A series of open performative seminars in which the artist and Ruskin tutor Samson Kambalu proposes a return to the radical John Ruskin (1819 – 1900) through a socialised praxis based around a notion of drawing and unrestricted economics, in anticipation of his solo show New Liberia at Modern Art Oxford, curated by Emma Ridgway, Chief Curator, and Amy Budd, Curator of Projects and Exhibitions.

The first two seminars presented by TORCH are primarily open to Ruskin students, Oxford academics, and invited guests. There will be a discussion and question time with Samson Kambalu and Emma Ridgway available at the end. The third and final event will highlight Kambalu’s major solo exhibition New Liberia in May 2021 at Modern Art Oxford and is open to all audiences.

Seminar 2  |  09 March 2021  |  17:30 – 18:30  |  Part 4-6

Audience: Ruskin students, Oxford academics, and invited guests
Registration: via Eventbrite  (please register with your Oxford University email address) – if you prefer not to sign up via Eventbrite you can send an email to TORCH stating your name, your Oxford University email address and the event you want to attend.

Part 4  |  The Coxcomb and a Pot of Paint: Ruskin and the “Death of Art”

In which the artist explores Ruskin’s idea of art in the wake of the so-called “death of art” which has traceable origins in the Ruskin v Whistler trial.

Part 5  |  Ruskin and Empire

In which the artist explores Ruskin’s influence around the British Empire, from Gandhi to pan-Africanism, and contextualises his work within trends in contemporary African art including Okwui Enwezor’s Short Century and All the World’s Futures.

Part 6  |  The Ruskin School of Art in the 21st Century: Beyond Diggers

In which the artist re-imagines the Ruskin School of Art in light of a return to the radical Ruskin through socialised praxis around a notion of drawing and unrestricted economics.

Emma Ridgway is Chief Curator at Modern Art Oxford, leading the artistic programme of exhibitions and learning since 2015. Previously she was a curator at the Barbican Centre, The Royal Society of Arts, Serpentine Gallery, and Khoj International Artists Association, New Delhi. She has degrees in fine art, art history and curating contemporary art from Goldsmiths and The Royal College of Art in London, and is a Clore Cultural Leadership Fellow. Ridgway has recently been awarded the post of Shane Akeroyd Associate Curator for the British Pavilion, 59th International Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia 2022.

Samson Kambalu is an artist and writer working in a variety of media, including site-specific installation, video, performance and literature. Born in Malawi Kambalu’s work fuses aspects of Chewa prestation culture, the anti-reification strategies of the Situationist movement and the Protestant tradition of inquiry, criticism and dissent. He has developed a praxis around psychogeographical cinema inspired by aspects of cinema of attractions. Samson Kambalu was included in Okwui Enwezor’s All the World’s Futures, Venice Biennale 2015. His recent solo exhibition History Without a Past at Muzee, Ostend, in 2020, was in conversation with Vincent Meessen’s project One.Two.Three which featured for Belgian Pavilion at Venice Biennale 2015. Samson Kambalu’s upcoming shows include a solo exhibition at Modern Art Oxford, Athens Biennale 2021, and ARS22 at Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma in Helsinki, Finland. 

You can find out more about Samson Kambalu’s Humanities Knowledge Exchange Fellowship at TORCH here.

LIGHT THE NIGHT

LIGHT THE NIGHT, 1-7 March. Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Features Nyau films – “Moses’ and “Runner”

Innovative displays will be projected following sunset onto the facades of NSU Art MuseumBroward County Government Center and Society Las Olas.
Featuring video projection art by Agustina Woodgate, Jen Clay, Edison Peñafiel and Monica Lopez de Victoria, Light the Night’s nightly activations of light, color and motion – some spanning 10 stories high – will be displayed March 1-7 weeknights from 7-10pm and the weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) from 7-11pm. The three buildings are all within walking distance from each other, with different artworks displayed on each building. 

This art initiative is presented by Broward Cultural Division and executed by MAD and curator Sofia Bastidas Vivar. 
Free and available to the public by vehicle, bicycle or walking; visitors must maintain social distancing measures and wear a mask.

ARTISTS

GOVERNMENTAL CENTER
Edison Peñafiel, Land Escape, 2019
Edison Peñafiel, Land Escape, 2021
Jen Clay, Soft Sanity, 2019
Jen Stark, Mandala, 2019, with the help of artist & technologist David Lewandowski
Jen Stark, Bloom, 2019, with the help of artist & technologist David Lewandowski

SOCIETY LAS OLAS
Monica Lopez De Victoria, ~~spinning~~, 2021
Agustina Woodgate
Jen Stark, Bloom, 2019, with the help of artist & technologist David Lewandowski

NSU ART MUSEUM FORT LAUDERDALE
Jen Clay, UnderNeath, 2016
Quisqueya Henriquez
Intertextualidad (Intertextuality), 2005
Samson Kambalu, Runner, 2014
Samson Kambalu, Moses (Burning Bush), 2015
Matthew Shreiber, Platonic Solids (video 1), 2006
Matthew Shreiber, Platonic Solids (video 3), 2006
Matthew Shreiber, Platonic Solids (video 6), 2006
Jen Stark, Streaming Gradient
Diana Shpungin, Endless Ocean, 2011
Samantha Salzinger, Ascension, 2011

Second Guild: Seminars on John Ruskin

Seminar Series on John Ruskin | 02 March 2021 | Seminar 1 | Part 1-3

by Samson Kambalu, Ruskin School of Art and Emma Ridgway, Modern Art Oxford

Second Guild: Some Remarks on the Turning St Crumpet

A series of open performative seminars in which the artist and Ruskin tutor Samson Kambalu proposes a return to the radical John Ruskin (1819 – 1900) through a socialised praxis based around a notion of drawing and unrestricted economics, in anticipation of his solo show New Liberia at Modern Art Oxford, curated by Emma Ridgway, Chief Curator, and Amy Budd, Curator of Projects and Exhibitions.

The first two seminars presented by TORCH are primarily open to Ruskin students, Oxford academics, and invited guests. There will be a discussion and question time with Samson Kambalu and Emma Ridgway available at the end. The third and final event will highlight Kambalu’s major solo exhibition New Liberia in May 2021 at Modern Art Oxford and is open to all audiences.

Seminar 1  |  02 March 2021  |  17:30 – 18:30  |  Part 1-3

Audience: Ruskin students, Oxford academics, and invited guests
Registration: via Eventbrite (please register with your Oxford University email address) – if you prefer not to sign up via Eventbrite you can send an email to TORCH stating your name, your Oxford University email address and the event you want to attend.

Part 1  What is Drawing? Ruskin and Ontological Incompleteness

In which the artist explores Ruskin’s idea of drawing and animatic philosophy through Ruskin’s take on geology, botany, painting, drawing, and architecture – the artist as a “seer” and socialised sovereign individual.
 

Part 2  |  Unto This Last: Ruskin and Unrestricted Economics 

In which the artist explores Ruskin’s take on the political economy and the problematic of the gift – art criticism; art institutions; art collecting; patronage; philanthropy; radical politics; communism and utopia.
 

Part 3  |  Undefinable Thing:  Ruskin and Contradiction

In which the artist explores Ruskin’s contradictory approach through controversies that marked his life – rabid Toryism and religiosity; Gothic and Imperial atavism; authoritarianism; anti-Science; and interpassivity.

In which the artist re-imagines the Ruskin School of Art in light of a return to the radical Ruskin through socialised praxis around a notion of drawing and unrestricted economics.

Emma Ridgway is Chief Curator at Modern Art Oxford, leading the artistic programme of exhibitions and learning since 2015. Previously she was a curator at the Barbican Centre, The Royal Society of Arts, Serpentine Gallery, and Khoj International Artists Association, New Delhi. She has degrees in fine art, art history and curating contemporary art from Goldsmiths and The Royal College of Art in London, and is a Clore Cultural Leadership Fellow. Ridgway has recently been awarded the post of Shane Akeroyd Associate Curator for the British Pavilion, 59th International Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia 2022.

Samson Kambalu is an artist and writer working in a variety of media, including site-specific installation, video, performance and literature. Born in Malawi Kambalu’s work fuses aspects of Chewa prestation culture, the anti-reification strategies of the Situationist movement and the Protestant tradition of inquiry, criticism and dissent. He has developed a praxis around psychogeographical cinema inspired by aspects of cinema of attractions. Samson Kambalu was included in Okwui Enwezor’s All the World’s Futures, Venice Biennale 2015. His recent solo exhibition History Without a Past at Muzee, Ostend, in 2020, was in conversation with Vincent Meessen’s project One.Two.Three which featured for Belgian Pavilion at Venice Biennale 2015. Samson Kambalu’s upcoming shows include a solo exhibition at Modern Art Oxford, Athens Biennale 2021, and ARS22 at Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma in Helsinki, Finland. 

Songs From a Forgotten Past: CentroCentro, Madrid 25.02 – 30.05.2021

Songs from a Forgotten Past, CentroCentro, Madrid, Spain: We Are Here is a series of five artists’ film programmes co-curated by Tendai John Mutambu and British Council, the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities, in collaboration with LUX, an international arts agency that supports and promotes artists’ moving image practices. In the programme some of the UK’s most outstanding emerging and established artists disrupt old narratives and encourage new global discussions on topics such as climate change, national identity, marginality, intimacy, community and the future of our cities.

Songs From a Forgotten Past is one of the series in We Are Here. How can we see the world from the perspective of the marginalised and stand by them in solidarity? Can marginalisation be undermined by reframing its representations? The works in Songs From a Forgotten Past move beyond idealisation and romanticisation. Instead, they point towards the potential to write new narratives that critically recast old images, perspectives and tools of analysis. They remind us that among failed historical projects lies the potential for new visions of the future.

Ayo Akingbade, Calle 66, 2018, 13 minutes (LUX)Duncan Campbell, Arbeit, 2011, 39 minutes (LUX) Susan Hiller, The Last Silent Movie, 2007, 20 minutes, 41 segundos (British Council)John Akomfrah, The Silence, 2014, 17 minutes (British Council) Luke Fowler, Depositions, 2014, 24 minutos, 32 seconds(LUX) Samson Kambalu, I Take My Place in History, 28 seconds, I Take the Stairs to 1952, 56 seconds, Cathedral, 28 seconds, Superfly, 36 seconds, 2016 (British Council)Rehana Zaman, , I, I, I, I and I, 2013, 14 minutos, 25 seconds (LUX)

Tendai John Mutambu is a writer, curator, and film programmer currently based between Bristol and London. Recent projects include: Artist in Focus: Marwa Arsanios for Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival, UK (2019); Twenty-two hours at ICA London for the 62nd BFI London Film Festival, UK (2018); and Sriwhana Spong: A hook but no fish for Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre, NZ (2018). He has written for Runway Journal of Contemporary Art, Frieze, Ocula Magazine, the British Film Institute, LUX Moving Image, and several exhibition catalogues.