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New exhibition features collaboration between Museum Ludwig and the platform Contemporary And (C&)
Installation view of C& Center of Unfinished Business. Here And Now at Museum Ludwig: Dynamic Spaces, Museum Ludwig, Cologne 2020 © Contemporary And. Photo: Rheinisches Bildarchiv Köln/ Nina Siefke.

COLOGNE.- For the exhibition Here And Now at Museum Ludwig: Dynamic Spaces, the Museum Ludwig is collaborating with the platform Contemporary And (C&). Founded by Julia Grosse and Yvette Mutumba, C& sees itself as “a dynamic space for issues and information on contemporary art from Africa and its Global Diaspora.” To this end, C& uses various formats: the hubs are the online art magazines Contemporary And and Contemporary And América Latina, featuring exhibition reviews, interviews, columns, and news from the international art world. New, digital artworks are also shown, and a printed magazine is published three times a year. The exhibition presents these activities and C&’s offline projects and connects them with other artistic positions.

The long-term project C& Center of Unfinished Business is the focus of Dynamic Spaces. It is a participatory reading room that is expanded depending on the location. The core is always encounters and dialogues with the respective partner and their library. In addition to C&’s own collection, selected publications from the Kunst- und Museumsbibliothek Köln and the Berlin-based empowerment and education project Each One Teach One e. V. (EOTO) have been integrated. The publications that come out of these different approaches to collecting focus on cultural productions from Africa and the Global Diaspora. They question gaps in Western-centric art history and address aspects of the colonial past. The reading room installed at the Museum Ludwig invites visitors to read, share comments, and continue unfinished discussions.

In addition, video works by the artist groups The Nest Collective and CUSS with Vukani Ndebele, which were produced by C& for the online video platform, are being shown for the first time in a museum. Both groups work at the intersections of different social contexts and often deal with the urban environment in a humorous way. Their films take place in Nairobi and Durban and transform everyday scenarios into a chamber play and a horror movie, respectively. With Nkiruka Oparah and Frida Orupabo, the exhibition also features two artists whose practice is characterized by reflection on African Diaspora identity, the questioning of the representation of the self and others, the reappropriation of images, and the influence of visual cultures from the Internet. Orupabo’s pictures revolve around topics such as religion, motherhood, and the sexualization of the female Black body. She isolates and recombines everything from image fragments from archives to current pop culture. This results in works that reflect the viewer’s gaze and also make the underling projections visible. A video work and paper collages by Frida Orupabo are being shown. Reflecting on language, gender, and memory, Nkiruka Oparah’s art combines personal and cultural images to create drawings, video collages, and objects. For the exhibition, Oparah is presenting a video work on the fictional primeval spirit SUOON. The animated cosmos of the same name is part of the artist’s latest group of multimedia works, in which fluid Black identities that transcend one-sided and rigid labels are articulated.

Dynamic Spaces is the sixth edition of the ongoing project series HERE AND NOW at Museum Ludwig. For Yilmaz Dziewior, director of the Museum Ludwig, it exemplifies the format, which responds directly to current cultural and social discourses and is based on collaboration and the integration of various forms of artistic production.

The exhibition has received substantial support from the HERE AND NOW group of members of the Gesellschaft für Moderne Kunst am Museum Ludwig e.V. and the Storch Foundation. We would also like to thank the Royal Norwegian Embassy and the OCA (Office for Contemporary Art Norway) for their support.

Curator: Romina Duemler

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