IN SITU – Otobong Nkanga: Bruises and Lustre

M HKA, Antwerpen, Belgium
16 Oct 2015 - 17 Jan 2016

IN SITU – Otobong Nkanga: Bruises and Lustre

Otobong Nkanga, The Flow Will Not Stop!,(detail) 2011, Courtesy of THE EKARD COLLECTION

The IN SITU programme at M HKA is a new programme of medium-scale monographic exhibitions by some of the most significant early- and mid-career artists from around the world working today.

It will focus exclusively on the commissioning of new artworks, as well as foregrounding experimental practices in response to M HKA’s largest and most atypical exhibition space.

The IN SITU programme has been developed by Nav Haq, curator at M HKA.

Otobong Nkanga is the inaugural artist invited to participate in the new IN SITU programme. Through having developed a highly multifaceted artistic practice over the last decade, Antwerp-based artist Otobong Nkanga offers us active proposals for thinking about some of the most urgent issues of the present time. One of her central and ongoing concerns is with the world’s natural resources, particularly the intensity of which the stripping of minerals from the Earth is profoundly connected to the conditions of late capitalism. She makes artworks about the relations between the natural landscape, people and labour, and their exploitation. Nkanga comes to these issues possessing a more composed human tempo, in contrast to the blinding accelerationism of the global capitalist machine.

Otobong Nkanga is fascinated by the notion of what she describes as “shine”. For the artist, this word is for thinking not only about the glimmering surface qualities of natural resources like rare minerals, but also about the desire to be seduced by exotic consumer objects. Glimmer is the German name for the valuable mineral Mica, which is the subject of her installation In Pursuit of Bling (2014). Works such as this look to make explicit the connection between rarification and desire, which is central to the complex networks of supply and demand that define globalisation. Nkanga’s artworks, whether in drawing, performance, sculpture or any other media, are built around a more holistic understanding of place and time, connecting together non-linear fragments of histories, experiences and images. Alongside In Pursuit of Bling, the artist has created a new set of large-scale tapestries, drawings and a carpet for this exhibition. Together, these elements form the setting for a series of performances and participatory actions Nkanga will organise throughout the duration of the exhibition.

Dates of performances:

•15 October 2015, 9 pm (evening of the preview)

•28 November 2015

•17 December 2015

•7 January 2016
Bruises and Lustre is the fourth and final chapter in a series of exhibitions: In Pursuit of Bling, 8th Berlin Biennial; Crumbling Through Powdery Air, Portikus (Frankfurt); Comot your Eyes Make I Borrow You Mine, Kadist Foundation (Paris); Bruises and Lustre, M HKA (Antwerp).