Eröffnung: Freitag 19.5.2023, ab 17 Uhr
Einführung: Susanne Altmann, 19 Uhr
Film still – Plateau
courtesy of the artist and Fondazione in Between Art Film
Karimah Ashadu’s work is concerned with labour and self-determination practices pertaining to the social, economic and cultural context of West Africa and its diaspora. Her video installation Plateau, depicts a group of undocumented, self-employed tin-miners in Nigeria's Jos Plateau region, striving to make a living out of an impoverished and unstable land as well as precarious, when not life-threatening, working conditions. Plateau merges a lyrical and investigative exploration of the relation between the landscape and the corporeal, with the majestic presence of the cactus symbolically conjuring both in its endurance to harsh surroundings. Male bodies are seen strenuously sifting mud and moving buckets of water in repetitive, brushstroke-like gestures. Yet, rather than romanticising, the film stays close to these fatigued workers, whose determined gestures courageously attend the land through inherited manual techniques and re-mine what the British colonial regime left after it exploited Nigeria in its complex, century-long, violent occupation. Their testimonies, together with those of local villagers and landowners, document the economic collapse of the region in the aftermath of British extractive corporations’ decommission as well as the newly found opportunities to pursue their community’s independence.
Bianca Stoppani - Editor
Fondazione In Between Art Film
Karimah Ashadu (b. London 1985) is a British-born Nigerian Artist living and working between Hamburg and Lagos. Ashadu’s practice is concerned with labour, patriarchy and notions of independence pertaining to the socio-economic and socio-cultural context of Nigeria and the diaspora. Her work has exhibited and screened at institutions internationally, including Kunsthalle Bremen, Tate, London, Secession, Vienna, Kunstverein in Hamburg, South London Gallery, London, Museum of Modern Art, New York and Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève.
Ashadu is the recipient of awards such as the Prize of the Böttcherstraße in Bremen (2022) and the ars viva prize (2020). Public collections include MoMA and the Federal Collection of Contemporary Art, Germany. In 2020, Ashadu established her film production company Golddust by Ashadu, specialising in Artists’ films on black culture and African discourses. She was named Abigail R. Cohen 2021 Fellow at the Columbia Institute for Ideas and Imagination, Paris.
The solo exhibition Plateau is part III of this year's three-part exhibition series Interwoven Histories I-III at Galerie Ursula Walter. Interwoven Histories I-III is funded by the Cultural Foundation of the Free State of Saxony, Dresden Capital and the Stiftung Kunstfonds Bonn as part of the NEUSTARTplus program. This measure is co-financed by tax funds on the basis of the budget passed by the Saxon State Parliament.