9-13 October – Yvette Mutumba

Yvette Mutumba. Foto: Benjamin Renter Yvette Mutumba. Foto: Benjamin Renter

Yvette Mutumba
Curatorial team of the 10th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art

Yvette Mutumba is co-founder and editor-in-chief of the art magazine Contemporary And (C&). From 2012 to 2016 she was working as curator at Weltkulturen Museum in Frankfurt am Main, DE, where she co-curated the major exhibitions FOREIGN EXCHANGE (or the stories you wouldn’t tell a stranger) (2014–15), El Hadji Sy: Paintings, Performance, Politics (2015), and A Labour of Love (2015–16, with Gabi Ngcobo). In 2016 she co-curated Focus: African Perspectives at The Armory Show, New York, US. Mutumba studied Art History at Freie Universität Berlin, DE, and holds a PhD from Birkbeck, University of London, GB. As author and editor she has published numerous texts and books on contemporary art from African perspectives as well as Global Art History. Her most recent publication I am built inside you, edited by ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen) and C&, was published in April 2017 by Sternberg Press.

Gabi Ngcobo, curator of the 10th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, has invited Moses Serubiri (Kampala, UG), Nomaduma Rosa Masilela (New York, US), Thiago de Paula Souza (São Paulo, BR), and Yvette Mutumba (Berlin, DE) to collaborate with her as the curatorial team. In addition, Gabi Ngcobo selected graphic designer Maziyar Pahlevan to create the visual identity for the 10th Berlin Biennale. Each of the collaborators has ongoing, malleable, and open-ended research interests ranging from the politics of opacity to projections on life after the end of the world, to unconventional processes of organizing, and is interested in texts and events that resist power dynamics enacted in the writing of narratives. Their creative strategies continuously reflect historical and current shifts and their uneasy entanglements. Over the years each of the collaborators has been engaged, individually and together with Gabi Ngcobo, in dynamic initiatives of building counter-institutions and instigating creative interruptions.

The 10th Berlin Biennale will be imagined and shaped through these collective dreams and actions. In conversation with artists and contributors who think and act beyond art, the curatorial process will confront the incessant anxieties perpetuated through the misunderstanding of complex subjectivities. Facing the current widespread state of collective psychosis, and starting from the position of Europe, Germany, and Berlin as a city in dialogue with the world, the curatorial process will be selective, non-comprehensive and will not provide a coherent reading of histories or the present of any kind. The curatorial team’s key starting points will be strategies of self-preservation as acts of dismantling dominant structures and building from a non-hierarchical position. The 10th Berlin Biennale proposes a plan for how to face a collective madness.

The visit is organised in collaboration with the Flanders Arts Institute.

On 10 October 2017, Yvette Mutumba gave a public lecture on strengthening the visibility of contemporary art from African perspectives. See the video registration below.