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Paper is a leaf that will destroy us in its fall

Onomatopee 111

Watch the video of the exhibition here

Proverb strings or mutánga play an important role in the oral tradition of the Lega, a group of people from the northeastern areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Each string carries 40-60 miniature objects, which represent a proverb and traditionally function as carriers of wisdom. The meaning of these objects is activated in social situations, told and re-told, often in a debate and discussion, by members of the community.

Sarah van Lamsweerde’s project explores this past tradition and questions what it would mean to develop such an ideographic device in this age of disembodied images and communications. Real and imagined metaphors emerge through strangely familiar but clearly contemporary objects, tales and actions, creating a speculative view on what forms of knowledge can be achieved and rendered from (im)material interactions with our environment today.

The premise for this project presents us with aesthetical and ethical questions: what symbols to harvest from our contemporary jungle overgrown with Action shops and viral lifehacks? Is this form of cultural appropriation a dubious exercise or a good starting point for a collective conversation?
Together with fellow-artists Esther Mugambi and Alex Zakkas, Van Lamsweerde explores to what extent our individual tales are collective and how (un)common our places in the world are. More than making sense of this world, they look for relations both mundane and mystical by examining seeds of thought, burning Doritos and other breaths of fresh unknown.

Sarah van Lamsweerde works across theatre and visual arts, exploring the range between (unfamiliar) languages and mass media phenomena to rethink presence and perception within the artistic experience. In 2008, she graduated from the Amsterdam performance programme DasArts. Her projects materialize as performances, installations or publications and are often based on research and long-term processes, in which practical work inspires speculative thought.

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Opening November 28th
doors open at 4 PM
performance at 5:30 PM

exhibition continues until 31st January 2016
open Thursday-Sunday 1-5 PM

Publication

Sarah van Lamsweerde and Kris Dittel, 2015

Paper is a leaf that will destroy us in its fall

€ 14

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Type
softcover
Dimensions
160 x 240 mm / 6.29 x 9.44 portrait
Pages
82
ISBN
978-94-91677-50-2
Editor
Sarah van Lamsweerde and Kris Dittel
Author
Tijs Goldschmidt, Sarah van Lamsweerde, Norberto Llopis Segarra, Alessandra Saviotti 
Graphic
Céline Wouters 
Artist
Sarah van Lamsweerde
Language
English
Edition
750
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THE PEOPLE WHO’VE WORKED ON THIS PROJECT

  • Sarah van Lamsweerde artist
  • Kris Dittel curator, editor
  • Isis Tweepenninckx intern
  • Norberto Llopis Segarra critic
  • Tijs Goldschmidt critic
  • Céline Wouters graphic designer
  • Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen partner organisation
  • Esther Mugambi artist
  • Anna Frijstein
  • Alex Zakkas artist