we have just returned from N’Djamena after a very intense but super exciting 12 days. As some of you may have seen from all the postings on facebook, the project was exciting and very well received by the N’Djamena public.
The public engaged with the images displayed in a profound and unpretentious manner. They equally identified very much with the concept of Invisible Borders. What was intriguing was the fact that the exhibition featured mostly images from N’Djamena, but also Khartoum, Addis Ababa and a bit of Lagos. From the feedback we picked up, the audience were able to situate themselves within the reality portrayed by the images. They identified familiar places, but was also able to project their imagination beyond as a result of the “openness” of the images and their tendency to depict occurrences in the public spaces of African cities.
This exhibition in N’djamena afforded us the opportunity to learn a thing or two about interaction with the public within a specific context. It revealed to us the importance of “returning” to places, the city and people where the actual works were created during the past road trips. The people get to interact and connect with the work on a much more intimate and tactile level. Our preoccupation since the last four years is to understand and arrival at a method of using art as a tangible means of social intervention. In Tchad we had a glimpse of that possibility: The Invisible Borders Road trip will be loosing a limb if at the end of it all, we do not get to show those work in the context they were made. In as much as it is very important to reach the rest of the world through exhibitions in far-flung places and online interactions, the indispensability of a return to places travelled cannot be over emphasized. This, we have released is the so-called building of Networks. It is even more so when the exhibition comes two years or more after the road trip. This interval in time leaves room for memory to play its role. The immediacy of the road trip finds its completeness in the return that should incorporate exhibitions, workshops, and other activities aimed at engaging the public using the works created in the past as a tangible reference.
With such pattern, it wont be too long before the results of such strategic knitting of exchanges becomes significant and a force to reckon with through out the continent.
Below are images from the N’djamena activities. Enjoy!
Exhibition preparations, Press Conference and Workshops
Opening of the Exhibition at the French Institut of Tchad