During their stay at the Nordic Guest studio Freddy Tsimba and Cecilia Järdemar will continue working on the artistic research project Transforming the Encounter, which evolved from their earlier collaboration. Together they will explore how the practice of intercultural artistic collaboration can investigate and reformulate our shared history; questioning Sweden’s colonial past and simultaneously giving Congolese communities access to parts of their history and material culture lost in the process of colonisation and Christianisation. They will explore how to develop a working practice based on equal power-relationships and shared authority whilst acknowledging a past defined by dominance and subordination, exploring how they can make space for new forms of cultural encounters and intercultural translation in the process. They aim to let the unequal exchange of the past be transformed by a radical co-presence in the present, investigating how they can use intercultural artistic interventions to redress and reformulate our difficult shared history. Can collaborative artistic research interact with decolonial processes by shifting the historiography away from a focus on the Swedish perspective, and instead make space for communities to formulate more complete versions that includes a multiplicity of viewpoints and voices, embracing recollections and interpretations that have been ignored, forgotten or eliminated?
Freddy Tsimba is a visual artist who lives and works in Kinshasa, DR Congo, where he holds a degree in Monumental Sculpture from L'Academie des Beaux-Arts. He has exhibited widely internationally, and currently his retrospective "Mabele eleki lola, The earth brighter than paradise" can be seen at the Museé Royal De L'Afrique Centrale, Tervueren, Belgique until 15th August.
The sculptures of Freddy Tsimba deal with the turbulent history and society of DR Congo. Among other works he has created traditional houses made out of recycled machetes and broken cell phones, both referring to the avalanche of wars plaguing the eastern part of the Congo, and inviting the audience to imagine these materials as tools for building rather than destruction.
Cecilia Järdemar is a Swedish/Portuguese visual artist and researcher. She holds PhD in Fine Art from the Royal College of Art in the UK, and is now a lecturer in Fine Art at Konstfack University in Stockholm. Working with photography, moving image and installation, her work questions both our past and our present through a focus on specific historical events.
She ran the art project Les Archives Suédoises (2015-2019) together with artists Anna Ekman and Freddy Tsimba. The project was exhibited at Museé D’Art Contemporain in Kinshasa, Kalmar Konstmuseum, Gävle Konsthall, The Centre of Photography, Stockholm and Jönköpings Länsmuseum, and a monograph, The Opening, was published by Sailor Press in 2019.