A group of works by Swiss artist duo knowbotiq (Yvonne Wilhelm and Christian Hübler) are shown in combination for the first time as part of SITUATIONS: thulhu thu thu, before the sun harms you and LETTRE à moi, moi-même et le DAHOMEY. Through a dialogic exchange, the works point to the possibility of representing landscape in a postcolonial manner – as distinct from universalised western ideas of political imagery and negotiability.
The spatial installation thulhu thu thu, before the sun harms you developed primarily out of a necropolitical view, i.e. a critique of the social and political power structures that dictate how people live their lives and their very right to live at all. The work, which was woven from raffia palm fibres in a number of different community workshops, makes reference to Europe’s largest area of moorland in the Scottish Highlands and is a variation on the process of sedimentation – the deposition and stratification of liquid and gaseous particles in the soil, a key process in the creation of moorland. thulhu thu thu, before the sun harms you thus reveals strategic approaches to sensual (re)appropriation, carried out collectively, that can reorganise the way the landscape is represented – in all its incompleteness and inconclusiveness – from a postcolonial perspective.
LETTRE à moi, moi-même et le DAHOMEY shows three associative video letters that, couched in the form of animated, ornamental assemblages of objects, examine how technologies and communication media write themselves into the relationship between the “Global South” and the “Global North”. The work draws on representations of the West African country of Benin found on the internet. knowbotiq approaches these images from both a historical and a contemporary perspective, weaving a critical web of imaginary stories around them.
The combination of the two works resists any obvious subsumption into classical modernist concepts of image and space. Instead, it initiates a process of techno-sensorial reorganisation, carried out at the communal level, as a means to expel the “ghosts” of a white Anthropocene characterised by land grabs, expropriation, forced migration, the extraction of resources and environmental pollution.
thulhu thu thu, before the sun harms you was devised in collaboration with Ira Wilhelm and Pablo Alarcón as a commission for Timespan Arts Center, Helmsdale/Scotland, with support from Pro Helvetia.
More by knowbotiq: knowbotiq.net