“Relation is knowledge in motion” – writes Edouard Glissant in his book Poetics of Relation. As a form of errant knowledge, relation is capable of birthing new and unexpected forms, abandoning the solid grounds of defined categories – such as the Nation, the Self and the Other – and venturing into the opaque gaps within.
The works of Dorothy Amenuke, Nakitende Sheila, and Theresah Ankomah presented in this exhibition explore questions of transience and relationality in diverse and complicated ways, establishing themselves within this space of opacity, in which according to Glissant lies the radical potential to subvert systems of domination. That which cannot be understood, cannot be controlled. That which cannot be fixed to a singular meaning in consonance with a certain cognitive framework, is free to roam and perpetuate its difference, producing a multiplicity of meanings in the process.
Dorothy Amenuke (Kumasi, Ghana) uses worn garments sourced from family and friends to compose monumental scrolls inscribed with abstract characters and images. Through them she investigates relationships within a multidimensional space of social, cultural as well as territorial conjunctions.
Sheila Nakitende (Kampala, Uganda) centers her work on formation through pattern and behavior, researching barkcloth fiber derived from the tree Ficus natalensis, commonly known as “Mutuba” among the Baganda people. Nakitende transforms its structure and nature into abstract organic forms through twisting, stitching and burning.
Theresah Ankomah’s (Accra, Ghana) installation works with woven kenaf baskets (commonly used to store and sell produce on markets) to investigate the complexities of ‘craft’ in relation to trade and how underpinning issues of geopolitics, gender and capitalism resonate in the everyday usage of these materials and objects.
The three artists’ sculptural experiments are intertwined in the exhibition to a space of perpetual mutability marked by shifting perspectives instead of stipulated discourses. A space where paradoxes are left to their productive ambiguity. That Those Beings Be Not Being: beyond grammar, beyond fixed taxonomies and identities the exhibition seeks to explore the gaps to encounter the genesis of new meanings and adjacencies.