TOR Art Space , Frankfurt am Main, Germany 06 Jun 2019 - 29 Jun 2019
Rahima Gambo, "A Walk", 2019, (film still) 13 min. Courtesy Rahima Gambo.
Women on Aeroplanes is touching ground in Frankfurt in June. As the title reveals, the research, publication and exhibition project deals with women taking off. But how and where to? What does propel them? What do we know of them? Zwischenlandung / Stopoveris the 6th is last station of the project. Earlier iterations were Berlin, Lagos, Bayreuth, London, and Warsaw.
Since two years and in varying constellations, Women on Aeroplanes has been working around questions of: Who are, who were these women fighting in struggles for independence in the 1930s to 1970s’ decades who traveled the world, founded organizations and created newspapers, established transnational networks, studied art, wrote essays and novellas, initiated new literatures through their radio programmes? Who appear here and there only randomly, but whose practices, if you look closely, offer more spacious, more complex views of history, society, and gender. They are present, but hardly represented visibly; their active range punctures and joins Europe, America, Asia, and Africa, countering the imagination of an ideologically segmented world—split into continents and disciplines, politics and culture, art and science.
Against this backdrop, Women on Aeroplanes has been testing methods of filtering, editing, compiling, or cutting, with how female artists and political activists have been erased from history, and others were emphasized: the first iteration in Berlin, Filter, in December 2017, questioned the nature of archives, while the second in Lagos, Search Research, Looking for Colette Omogbai, in May 2018; was wondering what it means to enter collections, and to actually collect. The Bayreuth iteration: Resonate from June to December 2018 was examining what exhibiting and digesting of artistic research can initiate. The Showroom London, Women on Aeroplanes running October 2018 to January 2019 was dealing with the question of how the presence of women reaches the limits of national discourses of independence but how it can also give them a new meaning. The second last iteration in Warsaw, Niepodlegle dealt with Women, Independence and National Discourse and run from October 2018 to February 2019.
Zwischenlandung / Stopoveropens with an exhibition by the artists Fatoumata Diabaté, Rahima Gambo, and Theresa Kampmeier who, using photography, film, and materials found on site, engage with the location and their own temporary stay in this place. Fatoumata Diabaté (Bamako/Montpellier), documenter and commission photographer, shows large-format prints from her series on the life of the Malian community in Paris (2006), and throughout the exhibition photographic works will be added from places Diabaté resides in for her work in June, among other places from Bamako, where she prepares her work for the photography biennale. Rahima Gambo (Abuja), documentary photographer and journalist, exhibits photographs and collages dealing with the act of walking and remembering, the fluidity of the contemporary, and with questions of cut-outs, stratification, and (plant) growth. Theresa Kampmeier (Berlin), re/acts conceptually to contexts, textures, and the potential agency of the space and its activities, accompanying the project, emphasizing access points, and testing ir/reversible gestural interventions. She starts this process off from a photograph of Hotel Luxor (2015), a hotel now closed opposite the runway at TOR art space.
During the exhibition, a four day-long public gathering is held in the exhibition space from 20 – 23 June, providing international participants with an opportunity to meet and to continue working together; it offers a moment of encounter and exchange between locals of Frankfurt and the contributors on their stop over. The dense program of presentations and talks evolves around the associative-conceptual and thematic trajectories of the “stopover”.
The program is created in exchange with the participating guests: the artists of the exhibition Rahima Gambo and Theresa Kampmeier, as well as Kodwo Eshun and Anjalika Sagar (The Otolith Group, London), Laura Horelli (Berlin), and Temitayo Ogunbiyi (Lagos); film makers Jean-Pierre Bekolo (Berlin/Bogotà), Jihan El-Tahri (Berlin/Dakar), Andy Amadi Okoroafor (Paris/Barcelona), writers and researchers Garnette Cadogan (Boston) and Michael C. Vazquez (New York), graphic designers Alexandra Papadopoulou and Marie Schopmann (VERY, Frankfurt/Main), designer, publisher, and architect Ayodele Arigbabu (Lagos), curators Antonia Majaca (Berlin), Lily Hall (The Showroom, London), Iheanyi Onwuegbucha (CCA, Lagos) and Marie-Hélène Gutberlet (Frankfurt), the co-curators of Women on AeroplanesAnnett Busch (Berlin/Trondheim) and Magda Lipska (Warschau), as well as Nadine Siegert (Iwalewahaus University of Bayreuth). The detailed program is available under www.tor-artspace.de.
Women on Aeroplanes has produced three issues of the Women on Aeroplanes Inflight Magazine – a fleeting format which takes its title seriously, presents discussions, propels research, edits transcripts, assembles found bits of information, and experiments with its contextual fabrics. From time to time, the magazine takes the shape of a flying gallery. Issue #4 will be launched a the Gathering.