Monday, 9 February 2015

A Flag for the Unspoken: Art performance and workshop by Nathalie Bikoro at the Pitt Rivers

Nathalie Anguezomo Mba Bikoro, a leading international artist from Gabon, was invited to create a performance in the Pitt Rivers Museum as part of the adult education programme and Black History Month

Nathalie Bikiro at the Pitt Rivers Museum © Pitt Rivers Museum.  Taken by Jon Eccles.
The idea behind this event was to create a space in the Museum for a Non-Western and African contemporary artist to respond to the collections in relation to the theme of ‘Black Histories', to create new ‘narratives’ and bring Pitt Rivers Museum African collections into a contemporary art discourse on postcolonialism, diaspora, migration, creolised identity, heritage, memory and homeland.

Nathalie’s performance, ‘Les Statues Meurent Aussi II' (Statues Also Die II - after Alain Resnais and Chris Marker) engaged with the history of the Pitt Rivers Museum and referenced the 1953 film Les Statues Meurent Aussi that featured a number of African masks and sculptures from General Pitt-Rivers’ private collection.
Flag for the Unspoken © Pitt Rivers Museum.  Taken by Jon Eccles.

For a description of the performance please read the article 'A Flag for the Unspoken: Nathalie Bikiro at the Pitt Rivers Museum - Yvette Gresle' in Numéro Cinq, an international online literary and art journal.

Following the performance, Nathalie ran an afternoon workshop with tutor Rachel Payne and her students from Oxford Brookes University Artist Teacher Scheme. Nathalie worked with students to engage with objects in Pitt Rivers Museum collections to construct their own narratives, and to combine responses to objects with personal stories and images from newspapers and magazines.
In this workshop and performance Nathalie is asking us to question supposed ‘fixed’ narratives, perhaps those of the Museum itself, or colonial history, to think for ourselves and hear ‘other’ voices speak in the Museum.

Flag for the Unspoken © Pitt Rivers Museum.  Taken by Jon Eccles.

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