Pool Malebo is a well-known place in Kinshasa, a tropical river landscape that has been both a real trade centre and a site for the projection of European fantasies from colonial times to this day. On the basis of this hub for the transhipment of goods and images, the Congolese and German duo Mukenge/Schellhammer explore the fictional potential of contemporary depictions of otherness in their multimedia exhibition »Pool Malebo«.
Embedding contemporary images and narratives into fantastic and speculative scenes leads to a discovery of the act of representing the other as a process of making it exotic, constructing meanings and producing realities. Mukenge/Schellhammer process layers of real and imaginary pictorial worlds that shape our collective (un)conscious, and they subject themselves to a process of strategic auto-exoticization. This leads to jointly made paintings that they expand in the exhibition with scenographic interventions, digital painting and experimental videos to form a multi-dimensional, multimedia narrative. Otherness and the opposite are not merely presented or criticized, but worked upon in a shared process that asks as to its opportunities for designing different, better or simply more interesting images that can become part of our collective imaginary world.
The exhibition is planned as a continuous process of a collective (re)definition of meaning. The digital and analogue paintings, experimental videos and installations were created as a series of work between Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Germany during and since the stay of the duo at Akademie Schloss Solitude in 2021 and 2022, and they are further developed in the exhibition gallery by the artists during the period of the exhibition. The ifa Gallery becomes a cartography of real and imaginary images that come together in ever new constellations and de- and recode our imaginary worlds. Visitors are invited to become part of this process, to enter into dialogue with Christ Mukenge and Lydia Schellhammer and to together work on a collective product that expands the exhibition in an open form.
The exhibition is accompanied by a processual publication with contributions by Marian Kaiser, Jean Kamba, Bettina Korintenberg and Elke aus dem Moore.
Curatorial concept: Bettina Korintenberg in dialogue with the duo Mukenge/Schellhammer
The complete program and further information can be found here.