Title: Exercises in Conversation
Commissioner: Kiprop Lagat
Curators: Jimmy Ogonga
Exhibitor: Dickens Otieno, Syowia Kyambi, Kaloki Nyamai, Wanja Kimani
The Pavilion of Kenya at the 59th Venice Biennale, under the title “Exercises in Conversation”, has been organized under the direction of Kurabu Projects in consultation with the State Department of Culture and Heritage. The pavilion showcase works by four Kenyan artists: Dickens Otieno, Syowia Kyambi, Wanja Kimani and Kaloki Nyamai.
In response to the overarching theme of the exhibition, “Exercises in Conversation” explores the relationships and dynamics between participants in a conversation, the inter-changing roles of both talker and listener, and how this complex relationship affects, influences and occupies the space of a story, of history and of pedagogy.
The individual practices of the four artists representing the Pavilion of Kenya are strongly rooted in their respective identities and stories, while approaching their art-making through a distinguished use of language, meaning and forms, pushing conceptual and material boundaries, and in the process, responding to the kaleidoscopic nature in which Kenyan contemporaneity continues to be conceived.
Both as a conceptual basis and as a curatorial approach, the project assumes a philosophical and methodological stance, proposing a key role in understanding the actor and the subject regarding a particular event or phenomena relating to both their lives, and the dialectics between engagement, on the one hand, and autonomy, on the other.
It also opens up conversations about the global and the local, language and translation, originality and mimicry, the personal and the collective, silence and sound as well as working to establish an exploratory for other ongoing debates.
Tue – Sun 10am – 6pm
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