Open Borders: DR Congo – Mozambique
Mozambique // DR Congo
Open Boarders is an initiative conceptualised by 1834 Gallery in Maputo together with Kin ArtStudio in Kinshasa. The initiative centres around strengthening ties and exchange between the two organisations, as well as fostering dialogue between artistic communities in Mozambique and DR Congo through a series of exchanges between Mozambican and Congolese artists. It aims to contribute to both the distribution of artworks across national borders and knowledge exchange within the region. The initiative looks to create a collaborative platform for the development of activities ranging from residencies to exhibitions, research and publications in the field of visual arts.
Open Borders begins with a programme in Maputo from 16-30 March 2021. This will centre around the visit of Vitshois Mwilambwe Bondo accompanied by artist Fransix Tenda and one other cultural practitioner. Production will be assured by Association for Research and Arts 1834 with support from local partners, namely the Centro Cultural Franco Moçambicano (CCFM).
18.03- Round table with the artists from DR Congo and Mozambique focusing on creating spaces for the dissemination of visual arts on the African continent. The round table is open to the public and will take place via Zoom.
25.03 – Presentation of the Congo Biennale with Vitshois Bondo Mwilambwe and Mozambican journalist David Bamo.
30.03 – Virtual opening of the exhibition Breaching borders: Congo-Mozambique with Vitshois Bondo Mwilambwe and Fransix Tenda. The artists will give virtual walkabouts and the exhibition will be accessible via social media.
During the period of the residency in Maputo, the visiting artists and culture producer will have the opportunity to visit local artist studios. This will allow the artists to exchange ideas and for the Mozambican artists in particular to share their work with Congolese peers. This will also enable the establishment of contacts for future projects and/or residencies in Kinshasa.
Located in the Malhangalene neighborhood in Maputo, the 1834 Gallery was recently set up Gonçalo Mabunda out of a desire to strengthen his support to other artists and the internationalization of Mozambican visual arts, formerly done through his project Karl Marx dezoito trinta-quatro. It is committed to establishing a frank dialogue with the community, breaking with the borders that frequently mark the space of the art gallery as a space for “the elite”. The non-profit Association for Research and Arts 1834 aims to foster and mediate the collaboration between artists, academics and other creative production agents across borders. It has already established constructive relationships in Mozambique and in Portugal.
Vitshois Bondo Mwilambwe is a Congolese artist, curator, founder, executive and artistic director of Kin ArtStudio. As a curator, his focus is towards showcasing a young generation of Congolese artists in local and international art scenes, and to bring renowned artists to work and to show their work in Kinshasa so as to engage them with Kinshasa’s reality. As an artist he has exhibited in various cities and countries around the world.
Gonçalo Mabunda is a Mozambican artist and director of 1834 Gallery and Association. At the beginning of his career he worked as a gallerist at the Núcleo de Arte Association in Maputo. Since 1997, he has worked full time as an artist. Gonçalo’s work has already been exhibited at the Venice Biennale, Italy, Brooklyn Museum, USA, Seoul Art Museum, South Korea, Kunst Palast Museum, Dusseldorf, Hayward Gallery, London and Center Pompidou, Paris, among others.
Andrea Moreira is Portuguese/Canadian living in Mozambique since 2012, where she is dedicated to research, consultancy and project management. She is co-founder and manager of 1834 Gallery and Association. Having completed her PhD in Anthropology and Communication Studies in 2016, her research has a strong focus on urban visual cultures. She has contributed essays and interviews for exhibition catalogues (BACC, Bangkok 2018; Culture breaking barriers: demining min [e] ds); National Pavilion of Mozambique, Biennale di Venezia 2019).
Fransix Tenda Lomba is a visual artist. After he graduated at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kinshasa, he participated in various workshops, residencies and exhibitions in Africa and Europe. He is also the recipient of a 2021 Pro Helvetia residency and will spend three months in Basel, Switzerland.
Grace Kalima is a culture producer from Kinshasa, DR Congo.