May - July 2020 — Visual Arts
Serge Diakota lives and works in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. His multimedia art incorporates elements of painting, drawing, sculpture and photography with materials salvaged from everyday life such as plates, plastic tables and bottle caps. Serge’s interest in working with “trash” aims to give these discarded objects a second life by re-imagining them into something different and better than their original form. In his Serge’s work, pieces of plastic become intricate fabric-like material and broken plates become canvases. Serge has been mentored by Vitshois Mwilambwe Bondo of Kin ArtStudio, and his involvement in workshops and exchange sessions at the space has played a role in the development of his practice.
Serge’s residency was scheduled to take place in Basel, Switzerland. Due to travel restrictions and health precautions as a result of Covid-19, Serge has decided to take part in the stay-at-home residency programme Home Not Alone. This residency framework follows a similar format to the regular studio residency with the unique additional aspects of a Swiss artist ‘critical friend’ who will facilitate connections in the Swiss art context and a community of practice established among the participating artists from the various regions of the liaison offices and Switzerland. This will create opportunities for artists to develop an informal network, engage with each other’s work, share thoughts and reflections on their daily lives and work processes.
During his residency, Serge will work on a project titled Dreams and Cohabitation, which will explore the similarities and differences between the cultural and lived realities of Kinshasa and Basel. This will involve researching different communities in Basel through dialogue and exchange to gain an understanding of their lives, outlook on the world and place within Swiss society. He is interest to learn about peoples’ cultures, social and historical points of view and histories. Serge’s aim is to find areas of commonality among disparate people, like residents of a space. He describes this as “a state, a house, to which different cultures and people from the corners of the world can coexist together to transcend their social, political, cultural, economic differences etc.”
Gilles Furtwängler is a graduate from the Art School of Lausanne in Switzerland (ECAL). Since 2006, he has since been developing his artwork based on text, using spoken words as the trigger of his visual production. Gilles works with different techniques including drawing, painting and printing to create plastic support for his texts. Trough collecting found texts Gilles works on retelling and rewriting what he hears and reads, using contexts, colors and substances to question ways of thinking and representing in our era.