Why is there so little African visual representation in the European public sphere while European culture is so present on the African continent?
The work leading up to Deep Memory stems from a number of artistic manifestations by artist Breeze Yoko, derived partly through a number of residency visits in Europe.
Deep Memory may in part investigate colonial traces, but most of all it wants to introduce a number of powerful artistic visions in a contemporary arts museum that is seeking relevance in a conversation that is transnational – in a way that we have now come to live an existence that is hugely dependent on a global conversation, facing challenges such as increasing gaps between rich and poor and fights over resources that send people on the move. New takes on how to collaborate and understand how local situations can be read in terms of global co-dependency is one of the challenges we face, yet we continue to exist in the loops of information of the already known. And we tend to forget. We forget where we come from and even the struggles of a few generations back fall back into deep rifts of forgotten memory. The old colonial divides regarding who was taken advantage of and who benefited remains a strong factor in the economies of the privileged. But there is a deep memory that goes beyond.
A work by artist Sam Matambo was inspirational to the name of this exhibition. Deep Memory is a sculpture once moved as a raw block of stone from Zimbabwe into South Africa. Sam Matambo started as a miner and has come forth with his artistic vision alongside learning how to master the art of sculpting one of the hardest rocks, the springstone. In Kalmar konstmuseum he joins a group of artists from the African continent and beyond to question and investigate aspects of Deep Memory.
– Joanna Sandell, curator & museum director