CTAF 2015

international listings

Invite to: The Earth Inside

Nicola Brandt
Invite to: The Earth Inside, 2014. Photograph .

'The Earth Inside'

Nicola Brandt at National Art Gallery of Namibia (NAGN)
Nicola Brandt’s exhibition 'The Earth Inside' at the National Art Gallery of Namibia is the artist’s first solo show. The multimedia installation consists of video, photographs, audio, archival materials and found objects.
 
It is widely documented that between the years 1904 to 1908 Germany committed genocide against the Herero and the Nama peoples of south and central Namibia. According to the historian Marion Wallace, 'It has been vigorously argued — and equally vigorously denied that the Namibian genocide, the first of the twentieth century, planted seeds of the genocide later committed by the Third Reich.' The repercussions of these events are still powerful today.

In 'The Earth Inside' Brandt attempts to highlight particular counter-narratives and blind spots in relationship to this painful past, and reflects on place, and on the role of photography in shaping the perceptions of this history.
 
In her post-documentary approach to film, the artist creates vignettes that reveal three parallel lives in a small coastal town. A Herero woman makes her living from tourists taking photos of her in her traditional dress. On her way to work, she walks past Herero and Nama mass graves. A German Namibian woman in her nineties tries to maintain her illusions 
about the Second World War and recalls a romantic encounter in the cemetery that lies near her home and adjacent to the unmarked graves. A woman in her twenties has returned to Namibia, the country of her birth, after years of living in Europe, and grapples with her heritage.
 
The three stories are accompanied by large-scale video and photography triptychs of the Namibian desert coastline and its hinterland. These deceitfully beautiful, derelict landscapes contain places of historical violence. The sites are largely unmarked and their identity has been preserved primarily through personal memories and oral histories. The exhibition, curated by Vid Simoniti, will be accompanied by a series of talks at the University of Namibia and a panel discussion at the NAGN.

01 August - 23 August



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