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Magali Dougoud | Residency

DRC | Visual Arts @ Myriam Ziehli

January - April 2022 — Visual Arts

Magali Dougoud

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Residency partner

Kin ArtStudio

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In her artistic work, Swiss artist Magali Dougoud dismantles dominant stories to find alternate subjectivities. Her video works develop an emancipatory feminine imagination through notions such as origin, desire, violence, plural and inter-species intelligence. She uses collective and intimate mythologies that constitute an empirical knowledge, shared beyond the supposed objectivity of History.

For her residency at Kin ArtStudio in Kinshasa, DR Congo from January to April 2022, Magali will develop a new video project titled Aquatic Narratives, which imagine a new narrative that will be made up of fragments of intimate and collective stories and images filmed in and around the rivers that cross and border the city of Kinshasa.

Magali explains: “Water, as a constitutive element of human and non-human bodies and of our environment, serves as a starting point for my recent work. It is inspired by the idea of hydrofeminism by Astrida Neimanis, that we are all bodies of water which makes our liquid incarnations an exploration of otherness. Aquatic Narratives is a continuation of my recent research about current ethical and environmental issues related to contemporary artistic preoccupations. Around water and liquidity as a way of thinking and communicating, the aim is to develop a post-anthropocentric feminist theoretical approach. Our bodies are ecosystems and we are not ‘sealed in our human skin suits’ (Neimanis). We must then rethink the role of the human in the “us” and through a non-normative ethic.”

The DR of Congo is the most water-rich country in Africa, yet only half the population has access to clean water. Aquatic Narratives aims to focus on the many rivers, waterfalls and tributaries that cross Kinshasa: the Lukaya, Nsadi, Makele, Basoko, Funa, Yolo and Bumbua rivers, the Gombe, Bitshaku and Tshaku, the Livingstone Falls… The project will question how these rivers are communication routes and fluctuating limits between space and time. It will explore the rivers as borders between communities and cities.

Magali continues: “Water becomes an archive, a channel of transmission, an original memory that crosses us and is transmitted to each body of water. These channels are areas of politics, transformation, assembly and multiplication. In her essay ‘The carrier bag theory of fiction’, Ursula K. Le Guin proposed a vessel as the first tool of early humans. Extending this metaphor, our bodies, like watercourses, collect, conserve and protect memory, stories and ideas and establish a privileged relationship with all the bodies they contain. These waters mix the distant past with the uncertain present and are new connecting processes and channels of communication. It is then a matter of inventing new scenarios by drawing inspiration from hypotheses and potential stories. By ingesting water, we swallow all the bodies it contains, together we become flows of culture and politics, and we constantly cross this transcorporeal space.”


Magali Dougoud is a visual artist based in Lausanne, Switzerland. She graduated with a Master in Fine Art from HEAD-Genève and HKB-Berne. In 2012, she founded the artist-run space Urgent Paradise, that she co-curated for 7 years. In her work, with mainly video, but also text, installation and sound, she dismantles dominant historical and scientific stories. Her work looks to develop an emancipatory feminine imagination through notions such as water and liquidity – as an exploration of otherness, inter-species intelligence, violence and desire. Her work has been shown in various art spaces, museums and festivals in Switzerland, Europe, China, USA, Chili and Colombia. She took part in residencies at the CAB in Puerto Yartou (CL) and at the Filmhaus in Basel (CH), the Air Berlin Alexanderplatz Residency (D) and the Cité des Arts in Paris (F).

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