Postponed from last year due to Covid restrictions, Musica’s curating lab is back on!
Musica, Impulse Centre for Music, is hosting its first Curating Lab within the framework of Sounds Now.
Developed by London-based French-Cameroonian curator Christine Eyene, the Curating Lab will take Pelt (Belgium) as a point of departure, and its position as border municipality, neighbouring Germany and the Netherlands, to explore the notion of ‘man-made’ or ‘unnatural’ borders. It will consider nature as a porous or permeable environment and a collective reconciliatory space.
Although Belgium is a country whose capital is home to a ‘borderless’ continent, freedom of movement remains a relative concept when approached from the perspective of displacement and migratory histories. This has been accentuated by the context of the global pandemic, which has dramatically limited the movement of people both locally and internationally.
The Curating Lab will envision sonic memory as an anchorage to histories and places, like a score one carries within oneself, through life and migratory journeys. These sonic anchors are also imagined repositories from which one draws comfort and healing in times of uncertainty. Domestic space will also be considered as a new territory, where extended periods of lockdown have created a new relation to sound within the private sphere.
The project will also examine how sonic experiences in new territories contribute to the formation of new identities and how, conversely, new identities transform sonic landscapes; not just in terms of the aural but also in ways that address forgotten or silenced voices, and in doing so, contribute to social change.
The programme will include a workshop led by Christine Eyene with local community groups with the aim of facilitating the emergence of new voices, diversity representation, and new forms of agency in the field of arts and culture. The groups will be actively involved in the creation and curation of two new commissions by Paris-based South African artist and DJ Mo Laudi, and Berlin-based Cameroonian artist Elsa M’bala. The lab will be filmed by Brussels and Hamburg-based South African artist Megan-Leigh Heilig, who will create an artistic documentation of the workshop.
The new sound pieces will be presented, together with the participants, on 29 May at 14:00, in the form of sound installations as part of the opening of the Klankenbos Spring Expo (29/05 – 06/06) (www.klankenbos.be).
About the artists
Christine Eyene is an art historian, critic and curator. She is a Research Fellow in Contemporary Art at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) where she collaborates with Making Histories Visible, an interdisciplinary visual arts research project led by artist and Professor of Contemporary Art Lubaina Himid. MHV aims to document, support, and share the histories of creative practices from the diversity in Britain and globally through collaborations with artists, art professionals, independent organisations and major public institutions.
Eyene’s areas of research and curatorial practice encompass contemporary African and Diaspora arts, feminism, photography and sound art. She is also interested in socially engaged initiatives, urban culture, music, design, and new media.
Her previous sound art projects include: Sounds Like Her – Gender, Sound Art and Sonic Cultures, New Art Exchange (Nottingham) and UK touring (2017-2020); Resonances: Second Movement, Espace Croix-Baragnon (Toulouse), as part of Printemps de Septembre 2016; Curator’s Series #8: All Of Us Have a Sense Of Rhythm, David Roberts Art Foundation (London), 2015. In Belgium, Christine Eyene curated RESIST! The 1960s protests, photography and visual legacy and Where We’re At: Other Voices on Gender as part of the SUMMER OF PHOTOGRAPHY 2018 and 2014 at BOZAR, Brussels. She is the current Artistic Director of the Biennale Internationale de Casablanca.
Multidisciplinary artist, composer, DJ and producer Mo Laudi is renowned for his key contributions to Afro-Electronic music in London during the first decade of the millennium and, since then, in Paris. Pursuing questions in relation to race, postapartheid transitionalism, post-coloniality, mobility and erasure, Mo Laudi experiments with sound and forms as material. He creates sonic landscapes, mixing vocals, textures and rhythms as a socio-political critique of society. Through painting, collage, sculpture, installations and video, he focuses on deconstructing black futurity, African knowledge systems and spirituality.
Mo Laudi draws on his experience in the music sphere to develop multilayered sound installations specially commissioned for exhibitions and festivals such as Ernest Mancoba. I Shall Dance in a Different Society, Centre Pompidou, Paris (2019), OORtreders, Belgium (2020), Casablanca Biennale, Morocco (2022). This year his first experimental exhibition in collaboration with Charlotte Moth, Décalage, takes places at art3 in Valence, he is working with Becky Beh on a project for La Clairière d’Eza Boto, Jardin des plantes, Rouen, preparing his first solo show at Apartment in Cape Town, and he is curating Salon Globalisto at Galerie Bonne espérance in Paris in May. In 2020, a residency at the Fondation Martell in Cognac was the starting point of his project I Love Black People.
Based between Berlin and Yaoundé, Elsa M’Bala aka A.M.E.T. is one of the rare female sound artists of African descent. By using technology as an empowering tool and through her own keen observations, she explores further the interconnection between race, gender, technology and spirituality. Her broad oeuvre varies from radio productions to live performances, as well as films and visual work. Elsa M’Bala performed and exhibited at IfA Galerie Berlin (DE); Casino Luxembourg-Forum d’art contemporain (LUX); Dak’Art Biennale (SEN); Les Brasseurs, Liège (BE), among others. Upcoming performances are at Gessnerallee, Zürich (CH), DEKOLONIALE Projektraum, Berlin (DE) and Halle Alte Feuerwache, Köln (DE). Since 2019 Elsa M’Bala also practices as a massage therapist.
Born in 1993 in Nelspruit South Africa, Megan-Leigh Heilig grew up in Johannesburg and graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand with a Bachelor in Fine Art (BFA) in 2015. In 2017 she completed her Masters in Fine Art (MFA) at the University of Cape Town. In 2019 she completed a residency at the Higher Institute of Fine Art (HISK) in Ghent, Belgium. Megan has exhibited in the Seven Hills 2nd Kampala Biennale: Virtual Mobilities 2016 curated by Elise Atangana, in 2017 at the International Video Art House Madrid (IVAHM) curated by Nestor Prieto, in the Digital Africa projects between YaPhoto and Open Source curated by Christine Eyene in 2018. She performed in a group exhibition titled Somewhere In Between at BOZAR in Brussels; the Antwerp Queer Arts Festival 2018, Failures of Cohabitation curated by Daniella Gèo at MHKA in 2019, Feminist Art Prize exhibition held at IKOB in Eupen, 21st Biennial Contemporary Art Sesc_Videobrasil | Imagined Communities 2019-2020, Together at M HKA, Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp in 2020 for Antwerp Pride. Recently she was a participant in the VISIO – European Programme on Artists’ Moving Images (9th edition) curated by Leonardo Bigazzi and organized by Lo schermo dell’arte Film Festival in partnership with NAM – Not A Museum, the contemporary art programme by Manifattura Tabacchi in Florence, Italy.