FOURTH PLINTH SHORTLIST

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.

FOR TWO WEEKS ONLY! NYAU CINEMA AT THE BRITISH COUNCIL

Samson Kambalu, I Take My Place in History, (still), 2016, Single Channel SD 4:3 Video, Colour, No Sound, 28 seconds. © Courtesy of the artist and Kate MacGarry, London

Watch four films from artist Samson Kambalu’s series of Nyau Cinema here for a limited two-week run.

CABLE CLUB is a series of artist films from the British Council Collection. Each month, from June – August 2020, a film will be posted on our website ready for audiences to enjoy around the world.


This month we’re bringing you four works by Samson Kambalu: I Take My Place in History, I Take The Stairs to 1952Cathedral and Superfly(2016).

All films are available to watch here until Tuesday 4 August 2020.

BRUSHING HISTORY AGAINST THE GRAIN: VINCENT MEESSEN AND SAMSON KAMBALU, MOUSSE

Vincent Meessen and Samson Kambalu Conversation in Mousse,  on History Without a Past at Muzee, Ostend, Belgium – with Karima Boudou.

“SK: It’s never “only playing.” Playing here is a form of gift-giving—we continue the Situationist obsession with the creative potlatch—art as a form of radical generosity. Play is one way art becomes infrastructure within everyday life rather than remaining in the mimetic superstructure paradigm and subject to capital. Play allows us to exchange ideas on a deeper level. Play cancels out obligations and “pettiness” in mere exchange, and this is most probably the reason Huizinga finds play at the heart of real culture, and why the Situationists employed play as strategy to keep reification at bay. The kind of playing we are doing here is what Nyau culture would describe as gule wamkulu, “the great play.” It’s a form of play on a universal scale.”

History Without a Past, intallation view

History Without a Past: Samson Kambalu and Vincent Meessen, Muzee, Ostend, Belgium

SCHOLAR AND SLACKER: ART MONTHLY INTERVIEW

Samson Kambalu interviewed by David Barrett in Art Monthly

“I always say that Situationism is the most African art I have ever seen in the West. This is because the situationists think art has to be an infrastructure, not a superstructure. In Africa, art is infrastructure. It starts with the economy, with everyday life, and then art manifests. Art doesn’t start on canvas and then go into everyday life, it’s the other way around.”

 

HISTORY WITHOUT A PAST, MUZEE, OSTEND

Samson Kambalu and Vincent Meessen – History Without a Past at Muzee, Ostend, Belgium, until 17.05.2020

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May 1968 is usually associated with uprisings and the student riots in Paris. Yet there was much more going on, and not only in the West. Protests were erupting all over the world, like a polyphonic scream that things must change. A ‘revolution’ was needed and one of the most striking voices belonged to the Situationists. This international avant-garde movement was strongly opposed to the prevailing consumer society and used all kinds of propagandistic strategies such as manifestos, pamphlets, films, slogans and public actions to ignite that revolution. Vincent Meessen and Samson Kambalu bring the movement’s approach and its resonance in contemporary society together in History Without A Past. The seed for this exhibition was planted – unconsciously – during the Venice Biennale of 2015, in which both artists presented work inspired by this international avant-garde movement.

 

Samson Kambalu is a researcher, author, filmmaker and above all a visual artist. His films and installations reveal a profound interest in mixing and blurring different cultures and histories. With his multidisciplinary installations and videos, Vincent Meessen aims to feed our Eurocentric view of history with new and polyphonic insights. In History Without A Past, they both gather stories that originated in the margins. History is usually written by victors. What is handed down is a mere construction, based on selection and interpretation. The position of the historian holding the pen is of equal importance. The past isn’t something that we leave behind. Its interpretation, however, is a task that lies before us. Here, too, several histories emerge that are usually told in isolation. Meessen and Kambalu invite us to wander through the past and to feed it back into the present. Along the way we become acquainted with a number of fascinating figures, whose significance is rewritten according to the dialogue they enter into with each other and also with us, the visitors.