Kunstgeschichte der Moderne
Performance Elsa M'bala, Re-connecting „Objects”, Dokumentation, 12. Berlin Biennale für zeitgenössische Kunst © Silke Briel

Re-connecting "Objects". Epistemic Plurality and Transformative Practices in and beyond Museums

The project aims at building transformative practices in dealing with cultural heritage through action-oriented research. Involving three African and two European universities and museums (the Théodore Monod Museum of African Art in Dakar, and the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford), it strives for new models of engaging with artefacts and immaterial heritage by learning from existing practices on the African continent and by building symmetrical structures for collaboration and exchange.
The project critically interrogates the histories of collections assembled during the colonial time, engages in the re-connection of interrupted chains of knowledge and examines alternative forms of custody, object-handling and display in African and European museums.
It thus seeks to produce multi-perspective and innovative approaches to collections, contributing to dismantle the Eurocentric order of knowledge and to displace the authority of expertise.
For this purpose, the project brings together an international team of researchers from Senegal, Cameroon, South Africa, Germany, and Great Britain who work in close dialogue with artists, museum professionals, students and various stakeholders on both continents. At the five partner institutions, post-doctoral researchers conduct individual research, while contributing, to the overarching common endeavor: the creation of the site-specific research exhibition held in Dakar from 18, May - 15 September 2024, during the Dak’art Biennale. Throughout the duration of the project, a number of collective meetings (seminars, workshops, public events) are organized, laying the foundations for the exhibition.
Epistemic plurality is at the core of this project: all its components are thus designed to allow for the cross-fertilization of multiple approaches. They open up the sedimented meanings of "objects" and foster learning from practices beyond the museum. To this aim, a digital working tool and website is developed with the team of La Villa Hermosa, a Brussels based graphic design studio which enables sustainable long-distance collaboration. Drawing relationships between the studied artefacts and situations and documenting their historical evolution without reifying them, it acts both as a transversal working instrument to be used by all researchers across continents, and as a visual element of the exhibition in its own right. In this way, the project intends to expand the classic academic formats through digital media and communication technologies.


Poster Kunsthalle Mainz © Kunsthalle Mainz


Three-day Program with artist tours, exhibition talks, panel discussions, performances and music as part of the exhibition

Unextractable: Sammy Baloji invites
KUNSTHALLE MAINZ 25 & 26 & 27/01/24

Sammy Baloji Nilla Banguna Jackson Bukasa & Dan Kayeye & Justice Kasongo Sybil Coovi Handemagnon Franck Moka Fundi Mwamba Gustave & Antje Van Wichelen Hadassa Ngamba Isaac Sahani Dato Georges Senga Julia Tröscher

Based on a concept by Lotte Arndt & Sammy Baloji,co-organised by Lotte Arndt, Yasmin Afschar and Marlène Harles.


Das Team von "Re-connecting 'Objects'" auf der 12. Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art


Dr. Lotte ArndtTechnische Universität Berlinarndt@tu-berlin.deWissenschaftliche*r Mitarbeiter*in
Prof. Dr. Albert GouaffoUniversité de Dschangalbert.gouaffo@univ-dschang.orgLeitung
Dr. Rossila GoussanouUniversité de Dakarrossila.goussanou@crenau.archi.frWissenschaftliche*r Mitarbeiter*in
Prof. Dr. Dan HicksUniversity of Oxforddan.hicks@arch.ox.ac.ukLeitung
Dr. des. Lucie Mbogni NankengUniversité de Dschang Wissenschaftliche*r Mitarbeiter*in
Dr. Lennon MhishiUniversity of Oxford Wissenschaftliche*r Mitarbeiter*in
Dr. El Hadj Malick NdiayeUniversité de Dakar Leitung
Tatiana Ngobo d.ngobo@tu-berlin.deAdministrative Projektkoordination (2022-2023)
Dr. Marian Nur GoniParis VIII Wissenschaftliche*r Mitarbeiter*in
Prof. Dr. Ciraj RassoolUniversity of the Western Capecrassool@uwc.ac.zaLeitung
Prof. Dr. Bénédicte SavoyTechnische Universität Berline.goulko@tu-berlin.deLeitung
Dr. des. Sophie SchasiepenUniversity of the Western Cape Wissenschaftliche*r Mitarbeiter*in
Eileen StelterTechnische Universität Berlineileen.stelter@tu-berlin.deAdministrative Projektkoordination