Kapwani Kiwanga

The Institute of things to come | Afrogalactica

13 April 2017 – 28 May 2017

Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo

Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo presents The Institute of Things to Come, a temporary research centre on futurological scenarios proposing a series of four solo exhibitions and an educational program, from February to September 2017. The Institute of Things to Come is supported by the grant ORA! from Compagnia di San Paolo.

curated by
Ludovica Carbotta & Valerio Del Baglivo

For the second chapter of The Institute, artist Kapwani Kiwanga presents Afrogalactica (2011–on-going), an epic narrative of the Afronaut Odyssey. Influenced by earlier studies in anthropology, the work of Kapwani Kiwanga often merges fiction and historical facts. Using video, sound and performance, Kiwanga produces research-based investigations that revisit history, crafting new stories from subjective perspectives, storytelling, science fiction and popular culture.

Presented as a complex organism of different elements, where multiple stories emerged, Afrogalactica takes the form of research in which vast fields of knowledge relating to high and low elements of culture are blended together. At the center of the enquire is Afrofuturism, a phenomenon to which jazz musician Sun Ra is often associated. For her exhibition at Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Kapwani presents a multilayer installation, where objects, videos-interviews with pertinent scientists and musicians and texts-based elements come together to create a project to repatriate Sun Ra to his home planet of Saturn. At the exhibition opening, the artist will also conduct the performance-lecture Afrogalactica: A brief history of the future in which she is an anthropologist who has come back from the future: embodying the language and codes of behavior of academic presentations, Kiwanga connects various references of history and culture to narrate the story of the yet-to-be-created United States of Africa Space Agency.

Along with the exhibition the artist co-conducts with writer and curator Mirene Arsanios the workshop titled Future ruins: reading the city, writing its future exploring speculative narratives as tools enabling the projection and imagination of new futures. Turin’s history and architecture will act as inspiration to launch discussions about the material and urban reality, and way in which these could be re-imagined and re-written. Participants are invited to propose alternative histories and imagine other futures of the city and beyond, creating an alternative guide of the city. Selected participants of the workshop are: Vincent Ceraudo, Cedric Fauq, Jaime Gonzalez Cela y Manuela Pedron Nicolau, Aoibheann Greenan, Marenka Krasomil, Alice Pedroletti, Giulio Squillacciotti, Ambika Thompson, Saul Williams.