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Fight the Power

Rachel Nyangombe

In Rachel Nyangombe’s video, the will to end the SYSTEM, the power, is highlighted. A real will that the artist manifests through a music conceived in the sense of going to the antipodes of the levers of power incorporated in everyday life also via mechanisms currently known and publicly designated as “Soft power”. The artist attacks the system while using the tools of the same mechanism including the New Information and Communication Technologies. Here, the GIF (The graphics Interchange Format), commonly used in social networks, is transformed into a work of art via the QR code that allows phones to copy the work and contemplate it via their phones. As well, the images were projected during the exhibition in video format. This approach bypasses the monodirectional vision of what art is, the consecrated and sanctified vision in the rooms is here short-circuited.

The artist Rachel Nyangombe is the daughter of a Swiss musician and teacher and a Congolese chemist. She saw the light of day in Switzerland where she grew up interacting with classical music and ballet. In 2006 she moved to Kinshasa, where she lives in the tension between the D.R. Congo and her Suisse birthplace.As a self-taught artist, she uses any medium she deems necessary to realise her artistic ideas: music composition, interpretation, writing, video, performance, costumes. From 2004 to 2006 she assisted the prêt-à-porter designer Javier Reyes in Bern, Switzerland. In 2006, she collaborated with the performer Athi Patra at the “Scénographies Urbaines de Kinshasa”, organised by the collective Eza possible. The clip Chocolat, her first video work, features the Congolese performer Androa Mindre Kolo. Her stage work and her works are reminiscent of cabaret. She offers poetic, sometimes weird worlds by singing about the simple things: the lovers, the enchantments and the meannesses of the world. She uses words and gestures camouflaged with shadows and aberrations. In 2008, a first band, Village Papa Nyangombe, emerges with Afropunk sounds and cosmopolitan influences of rock, rumba and jazz, with which she plays on the stages of Kinshasa until 2016 and participates, among others, in the festivals Connexion Kin of the KVS (Royal Flemish Theatre) aiRD’iCi festival de musiques urbaines. Since 2016, she has been working as a solo artist or in collaboration with other artists under the name NYANGOMBE.