Following on from a research trip earlier this year, Swiss artist Marc Bauer will return to Kinshasa from 9-18 September 2022 to produce a large-scale wall drawing for the International Exhibition at Kin ArtStudio as part of the Congo Biennale.
The work is a collaboration with Scaly Kep’na, an LGBTQI+ activist and founder of the Jeunialissime association, who Marc connected with during his research trip. The mural will highlight the reality and difficulties that the young LGBTQI+ generation face in Kinshasa. It will be informed by material gathered through numerous interviews they have made with people from the LGBTQI+ community in Kinshasa.
Of his practice, Marc has noted that “painting and drawing are a way for me, and by extension for the viewer, to understand reality, in all its complexity – subjectively, politically, symbolically. It also allows me to show how history, memory and changing power structures influence the present moment.”
Marc will present the new work during the vernissage with an artist talk. Alongside this he is excited to meet and exchange with artists from several African countries and discover their work and artistic research.
The second edition of the Congo Biennale is curated by Armelle Dakouo and Fahamu Pecou. Under the theme “The breath of the ancestors” (Le Souffle des Ancêtres), the curators write “We are opening a new chapter. One that reveals humanity rising to face its shadows. We are creating a world that will be more harmonious. A world that requires us to interact differently with nature and with one another.”
Text (English translation]
There are no benevolent ancestors for us, there is nothing.
We do not have their testimony,
We do not know their lives,
We will never know, They have been erased. They forced themselves to be other,
To be like you,
That’s what you demand of us.
For us, the story begins now. We are writing it.
Marc Bauer (b.1975 Geneva) lives and works in Berlin and Zurich. He studied at the Ecole Supérieure d’Arts Visuels Genève (now HEAD) and at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam. He is tenured lecturer at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK). Marc works primarily in drawing, as well as animated film, ceramics, oil painting, installation and sculpture. has shown his works in numerous solo exhibitions in Switzerland and abroad, notably at the Berlinische Galerie (2020); Istituto Svizzero, Milan (2020); Drawing Room, London (2019); Museum Folkwang, Essen (2014); Centre Culturel Suisse, Paris (2013); Kunstmuseum St. Gallen (2011); MAMCO, Geneva (2010). And notable group exhibitions in Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (2020); Migros Museum, Zurich (2019); Kunsthaus Zurich (2019); Biennale of Sydney (2018); S.M.A.K., Ghent (2015); Albertina Museum, Vienna (2015); Liverpool Biennial (2014). His works are in major public and private collections, including the Kunsthaus, Zürich; Berlinische Galerie; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museum Folkwang, Essen; Migros Museum, Zurich; Kunstmuseum St. Gallen and the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco. In 2001, 2005 and 2006 he was awarded the Swiss Art Award. Marc is the laureate of the Prix Meret Oppenheim / the Swiss Grand Award for Art 2020. He is the winner of the GASAG Kunstpreis 2020 that resulted in a solo exhibition at the Berlinische Galerie in Berlin. Marc was a fellow at Istituto Svizzero in 2005 – 2006.
[All photos by Marc Bauer during the research & production phase of the project]