Search Sweet Country, a Newly Commissioned Performance by Christian Nyampeta, Followed by a Conversation with Curator Maria Lind


Thursday, December 5, 7pm

132 West 21st Street, 10th floor, New York, NY


If love songs about loss and overcoming are part of the history of the present, Christian Nyampeta wants to know what happens to that history when we translate, remix, re-record and recompose them. Specially commissioned by MA Curatorial Practice, Search Sweet Country summons sculptures, images, sounds and movement for a lyrical performance about longing and belonging.


The performance is conceived as a rehearsal and a spatialisation of a musical album in progress, devised as a sonic catalog of songs recorded before, during and in the aftermath of major historical events that marked the last 25 years of the history of the present. The songs are revisited by Nyampeta in collaboration with contemporary linguists and musicians, through translations, remixing, rerecording and recompositions.


The evening features interludes formulated as recitations of excerpts by poets and novelists including Bessie Head, Kodjo B. Laing, Ali A. Mazrui, Scholastique Mukasonga, Nnedi Okorafor, Yambo Ouologuem, Ousmane Sembène and Namwali Serpell in a reading that performs their writing as diagnosticians of their society.


Christian Nyampeta works in art, design, and theory. His practice includes the convening of a roaming programme of exhibitions, screenings and lyrical performances concerned with the question of how to live together through exploring the ideas of monument and translation. His latest projects include École du soir at SculptureCenter, New York (2019), and A Flower Garden of All Kinds of Loveliness Without Sorrow, Museum of Contemporary Art (GfZK), Leipzig (2019). Nyampeta also exhibited at the Institute of Modern Art (IMA), Brisbane (2019)and Camden Arts Centre, London (2017). Forthcoming exhibitions include The 12th edition of Bamako Encounters Photography Biennial and the 5th Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art, Ekaterinburg (2019). He participated in the Dakar Biennale (2018), and the 11th Gwangju Biennale (2016). Nyampeta runs Radius, an online and occasionally inhabitable radio station. He completed a PhD Thesis at the Visual Cultures Department of Goldsmiths, University of London and he was awarded The Art Prize Future of Europe 2019.


Maria Lind is a curator, writer and educator based in Stockholm and Berlin. She was the director of Stockholm’s Tensta konsthall 2011-18, the artistic director of the 11th Gwangju Biennale, the director of the graduate program, Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College (2008-2010) and director of Iaspis in Stockholm (2005-2007). From 2002-2004 she was the director of Kunstverein München and in 1998, co-curator of Europe’s itinerant biennial, Manifesta 2 in Luxembourg. In 2015 she curated Future Light for the first Vienna Biennial, and in 2019 she co-curated the Art Encounters Biennial in Timisoara. She has taught widely since the early 1990s, including as professor of artistic research at the Art Academy in Oslo 2015-18. She has contributed widely to newspapers, magazines, catalogues and other publications. She is the 2009 recipient of the Walter Hopps Award for Curatorial Achievement. In 2010 Selected Maria Lind Writing was published by Sternberg Press, and Seven Years: The Rematerialization Art will appear in the fall of 2019.