Laboratoire Kontempo – Kinzonzi

A question of perspective – funded of the TURN2 Fund

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LabKontempo – Kinzonzi Berlin & Kinshasa

Project description

The project “Laboratoire Kontempo” (LabKontempo, for short) was established by the Congolese-German duo Mukenge/Schellhammer in Kinshasa in 2019 and has organised a festival there every year since, headed by both artists. As a transnational duo, Mukenge/Schellhammer channel their personal and professional experiences into the concept of their project. In the edition of “Laboratoire Kontempo 2021/22 – Kinzonzi”, developed in cooperation with ACUD Macht Neu (Berlin), artists, specialists, researchers and theorists from Berlin and Kinshasa came together in an analogue and digital transdisciplinary experimental forum, where they explored post-colonial realities, conventional structures of post-colonial power, and predominant trends in contemporary international art scenes.

In Kinshasa, the term “Kontempo” stands for an alternative concept to the Western notion of “contemporary”. The project “Laboratoire Kontempo – Kinzonzi” combines local perspectives from Kinshasa with international concepts and perceptions of art and creates a new platform for artistic practices and discourse where theoretical and visual dialogue can flourish. After many years of political, economic and social instability since achieving independence, a number of informal collective-like organisations have formed in the DR Congo and have had to adjust to the rapidly shifting uncertainties and difficulties of a society in transformation. In response, creative producers in Kinshasa have developed specific artistic strategies and experimental presentation forms featuring performance, urban interventions, video, photography, street art and collaborative formats.

LabKontempo 2021/22 addresses how this hybrid changeability can be used as a mobile lifestyle and artistic strategy in times of crisis. The artistic and discursive formats are being developed in a process-oriented and collaborative manner between participants in Berlin and Kinshasa. The project is creating performances, installations, theoretical reflections in the form of texts, discussion series, screenings and radio broadcasts. Following their debut at the festival, the new pieces will be presented in exhibitions in public space in Kinshasa and at the ACUD Galerie in Berlin. The final project presentation in Kinshasa will take place in the form of an exhibition at the “Musée de l'Art contemporaine et de Multimédia” inside the “Echangeur”.

Project partner: Option ONGD, Kinshasa, DR Congo

Other venues and partners in Berlin include Reboot FM, Cashmere Radio and Fluctuating Images, and the Akademie Schloss Solitude. The project plans to produce a publication and online archive which will document the artistic and discursive contributions and make them accessible to an international audience.

Artistic direction: Christ Mukenge (CD), Lydia Schellhammer (CD)

With: Sinzo Aanza (CD), Jasmina Al-Qaisi (RO), Miguel Buenrosto (MX), Jérôme Chazeix (FR), Jean Kamba (CD), Jessika Khazrik (LB), Cornelia Lund (DE), Priska Tankwey (CD), Gabriella Torres-Ferrer (PR), Raul Walch (DE), Ralf Wendt (DE), Elsa Westreicher (DE), Sammy Baloji, Dedhel Bulamatadi Kisinga + Guelord Vulu Vangu, Koko Kabamba Byamungu, Dorine Mokha (Homage), Mukenge/Schellhammer, Billy Ngalamulume Mukinay - alias Kill Bill, Paulvi Ngimbi, Rachel Nyangombe, Luiza Prado, Prisca Tankwey

Radio show: Orakle Ngoy, Jasmina Al-Qaisi und Ralf Wendt
Film programme: Holger & Cornelia Lund (Fluctuating Images)
Research: Jean Kamba und Sorana Munsya
Design: Elsa Westreicher


No upcoming events at present

Previous events

  • 3 May, 2022 to 14 May, 2022: Laboratoire Kontempo – Kinzonzi: Exhibition & Festival in Berlin

    Kunsthaus ACUD, Haus der Statistik and other venues, Berlin

  • 5 October, 2021 to 15 November, 2021: Laboratoire Kontempo – Kinzonzi: Festival & Exhibition in Kinshasa

    Institut Francais, Art academie and other venues, Exhibition: National museum DR Kongo , Kinshasa


ACUD Macht Neu

Veteranenstraße 21
10119 Berlin (external link, opens in a new window)