Talks / Workshops

Lecture by Elvira Dyngani Ose: Poetics of the Infa-Ordinary

Office for Contemporary Art, Oslo, Norway
14 Mar 2012

In his book L’infra-ordinaire published in 1989, Georges Perec calls to the production of a narrative of daily life, of the common things. He emphasises the activist potential of the narration of the habitual, the everyday life, which occurs far from newspaper headlines and big events.

Over the past decades African urban spaces have witnessed some of the most innovative, engaging and participatory artistic practices, which seem to follow suit Perec’s analysis. Those projects start from the need to address issues occurring in their cultural contexts that would otherwise have remained unnoticed. They produce not only a narrative of daily life experience, but also create a new vocabulary, which connects art and society, abolishing the traditional narrative of author versus spectator. Elvira Dyangani Ose looks at the strategies of some of these initiatives such as ‘Le Salon Urbain de Douala, SUD’, Douala, Cameroon or the ‘Picha Recontres’, Lubumbashi Biennale, Democratic Republic of Congo, which pay special attention to the significance of the space in which the art intervention is being produced and reflect on the social relationships that are established in those spaces.


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