Mukenge / Schellhammer
Multimedia Installation, digital and analog paintings experimental videos, Kinshasa 2021
Pool Malebo multimedia exhibition is a workshop series that takes place in different stages and stations between Kinshasa and Europe. In a mutual agreement of importation and exportation of painting techniques and artistic traditions, the Congolese-Ger- man duo combines contemporary art practices from the two continents. Pool Malebo multimedia exhibition ex- plores the fictional potential in the cur- rent representations of foreignness through the strategic autoexoticization of the duo – Mukenge/Schellhammer and creates opposing alienations and dream images by reordering and rein- terpreting stereotypical images of the exotic. The placement of contemporary images and narratives within fantastical contexts and speculative scenarios illu- minates the act of representing the other as a process of exoticization that constructs meaning and reality. A speculative Fiction that aims to trans- gress the two-dimensional space of painting.
Mukenge/Schellhammer is composed by Christ Mukenge (b. 1988, Democratic Republic of the Congo) and Lydia Schellhammer (b. 1992, Gemany). The German-Congolese duo has been acting as guinea pigs for post-post-colonial theory and practice in the laboratories of contemporary Kinshasa and Europe since 2016. The artists expose themselves to confrontational transcontinental situations within rapidly changing social systems, and respond to their experiences and investigations in an ongoing artistic process that includes co-signed analogue and digital paintings and drawings, experimental videos, urban intervention and performance. Their specific collaboration frustrate a categorisation and association with not just the cultural context and its artistic traditions but also with geographical origin.
Among others, the duo showed works at the Grandhotel Cosmopolis, Augsburg/ Germany (2016), the Swiss Embassy in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kinshasa (2018), Plateforme Contemporaine and Institut Francais Kinshasa (2019), Galerie Oberwelt, Stuttgart (2021), Galerie Noah Augsburg (2020), the Pan-African video festival “BodaBoda Lounge” in 20 countries of the African continent, City Salts Basel and Guggenheim Museum New York (2020/21). In 2019, the duo founded the project “Laboratoire Kontempo”, a transdisciplinary, experimental platform for contemporary art in Kinshasa.
In collaboration with Gintersdorfer/Klaßen and Gintersdorfer/Yao, Mukenge/ Schellhammer have been involved in projects at HAU Hebbel am Ufer, Berlin/Germany, as part of Skulptur Projekte Münster/Germany, at MC93, Paris/France, and at Theater Kampnagel, Hamburg/Germany. In 2020/2021 they are fellows at the Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart.