My Mother Is Forgetting My Face
Curated by Martha Kazungu.
With artists Bathsheba Okwenje, Maria Brinch, Lilian
Nabulime and Miriam Watsemba.
For the opening on Saturday Aug 29th, doors are open between 12—5pm, simultaneously as neighbouring exhibition spaces Lydgalleriet and Hordaland Kunstsenter opens with new exhibitions close by. The gallery will follow current health guidelines to secure your safety during the visit.
Keeping safe from Covid-19 (2020)
Terracotta, wood, pigment
Beyond the scars (2019)
By choosing a relatable component
of life, a mother, in the exhibition title: My Mother Is Forgetting My Face,
the curator seeks to grab the attention of whoever has time to read. But, after
this, the title takes on a metaphorical meaning, where the mother is actually
the nation and the face is actually the respective citizens of the concerned
nation. In essence the exhibition seeks to speak to the unspeakable injustices
that nations render to their citizens. As a starting point, the exhibition
speaks about three specific nations about which the exhibiting artists took
interest; Myanmar, Uganda and South Sudan. Maria Brinch is commenting on the
resilience in Myanmar, Bathsheba Okwenje and Miriam Watsemba are talking about
the South Sudanese war and the consequent refugee crisis in Uganda and most
recently Lilian Nabulime speaking about the Covid-19 pandemic in Uganda which
has registered a set of inconsiderate policies to the citizens in the name of
combating the virus spread.
How do we even harvest the right
words to speak about an ongoing crisis without igniting trauma, especially
among victims of war? Since 2013, South Sudan has been embroiled in a Civil
War. Over four hundred thousand people have perished and four million others
displaced, majority of whom are living in refugee camps in Uganda. Because of
the enraging war in South Sudan, the country continues to disfigure the faces
of its citizens and to expose them to terror, destitution, and homelessness.
the Scars, a photography documentation by Miriam Watsemba, narrates the story of one of the victims
of the South Sudanese Civil War. Watsemba presents a visual narrative of the
struggle to heal both physically and emotionally. The work is a reminder that
even though an amicable end to the crisis is attainable, victims continue to
struggle for many more years. They grapple with varied forms of scarring.
Bathsheba Okwenje’s audio piece End takes off with the sound of birds singing
amidst the rubbing of machines against the earth. As the clip progresses, it
obtains a stable rhythm of the sound of women panting, reminiscing the sequence
of moving to Uganda every time war breaks out in South Sudan and having to
return as soon as peace resumes, a cycle which has been endless since
Lilian Nabulime’s art practice has, over the past two decades, worked with
making sculptures with the intention of addressing and sensitizing people about
HIV/AIDS, an epidemic that has cost and disrupted many lives in Sub Saharan
Africa. Her sculpture Angel stands out in this exhibition as a fitting
gesture of calm and tranquility. The sculpture is part of the collection of the
University Museum of Bergen since 2004. Nabulime has also created new
works depicting the Covid-19 situation in Uganda.
Far Away series by Maria Brinch speak of human presence in public space,
through everyday textiles. While walking the streets of Yangon Myanmar in 2008
she experienced women in her neighborhood hanging out their washed clothes on
their way to work and collecting them on their way back home. In these gestures,
Brinch saw a “pattern of hope of something solid and visual substantial in a
city under oppression and poverty”.
/ Martha Kazungu
Audio, 05:00 min loop
Never Far Away (2008)