Louis Henderson & João Polido, Ibrahim Mahama, Hira Nabi, Nader Mohamed Saadallah, Alida Ymele, Buhlebezwe Siwani
To placate those the night surprised in their noons;
those we loaded with lead;
pushed to dungeons and makeshift graves;
to absolve our irretrievable selves
from the badger of willow-whips lurking in time.
We need no mourners in our stride,
no remorse, no tears.
Only this: Resolve
that the locust shall never again visit our farmsteads
Excerpt from Odia Ofeimun's “Resolve”
Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung: For many, work is very much associated with routine, specific circuits, mundane procedures; with rituals. The rituals of waking up at a certain hour, preparing for the day, the journey to the work-place, the dynamics of relations with colleagues and managers/chiefs, patterns of rest, the songs one sings to kill time or soothe the spirits while repetitive or mechanical actions occur.
This frequency summons reflections — directly and tangentially — about the rituals of seen and unseen labour. Here work includes family chores, care and domestic work as much as other forms of labour f.e. Begging or activism, usually not considered under this umbrella because the form of economic remuneration is not direct or is completely absent. Too many works that have care and conviviality and hospitality at their core are practiced under very precarious conditions. Despite the precariousness, many of the workers performing them — most of whom are working class, women and/or migrants within our societies — show the most resilience and resolve. It isn’t rare to encounter mothers raising children and jobbing, migrants juggling multiple odd or precarious jobs to make ends meet, or those from the working class doing what is often considered as “mean” jobs, which include essential jobs like care work and cleaning. The artists clustered in this frequency invoke the routines and rituals of spiritual healers, factory workers, politicians and ghosts, domestic workers, dockers and ship-dismantlers, craftsmen and -women losing their trades upon automation, mechanical work and more. These rituals are often facilitated, greased, catalysed or just accompanied by multiple sediments of sonority that echo within and across the exhibition.