“Walking pass a street in the neighborhood of Château Rouge, street vendors negotiating with their clients left me with a feeling of displacement and nostalgia — a sense of familiar sounds struggling in a Parisian architectural setting. The rhythmic currency, negotiation codes to product names, all perculiar to open markets public spaces across central and west Africa and the nuances inbetween.”
« Fumbua ! carton à 10 euros,
bobolo ! 3 pour 2 euros,
Safou, 8 à 5 euros, ceintures, arachide frais…. »
For his experiment, negotiations, chapter 1-i, Em’kal Eyongakpa composes a fragmented narrative from sounds recorded in Paris and Douala, in selected informal market settings, transport routes with excerpts from spaces where the objects of these negotiations are extracted. In these spaces of negotiations, identities are in constant mutation as the ancient confronts set urban codes. The dynamics of these spaces usually tend to mirror “maximalist” urban variants of ethnic music; like Bikutsi, Asiko in Cameroun, Congotronics in RDC or even Juju in Nigeria.
In negotiations, chapter 1-i, the artist plays with undertones of negotiations and creolization of these highly political spaces. He attempts a dialogue between the intense anthrophony of these spaces in and with a “white cube”.
« How could one capture the beautiful essence or energies of these spaces of constant negotiations without over-altering the « maximalist » nature of the loud and seemingly chaotic environments. »
exhibition view at Kadist art Foundation: may 22nd – july 26th 2015
Photos : Aurélien Mole & Em’kal Eyongakpa — Courtesy of the artist & Kadist Art Foundation
Room 1: multi channel sound installation (not available online…)
Room 2: Reference room (soundscapes/ poetry/ text reading/ vocals…)
Notes on orchestrated field recordings—by Amal Alhaag (view/download Negotiations Chapter 1-i —Emʼkal Eyongakpa)
conversation : Amal Alhaag and Em’kal Eyongakpa (view/download conversation_Amal&Emkal excerpt)
Em’kal Eyongakpa, friends and traces 2014-2009
First edition limited to 99 numbered copies.
112 pages, full colour, Stucco Fedrigoni paper
A special edition of 33 copies, signed and numbered I-XXXIII, includes a code for one time audio download.
Curated by Em’kal Eyongakpa with Amal Alhaag .
Produced byBoîte (boiteonline.org), Rijksakademie Van Beeldende Kunsten(rijksakademie.nl), KHaL!SHRINE (khalishrine.wordpress.com)
Printed and bound in Italy. November 2014
© the artist
overview by Amal Alhaag.
You don’t know how hard it is here
The streets is tricky in these parts here
You don’t know how hard this is here
The streets need this shit here— K’naan- T.I.A.
The B-side is the reverse side of a phonograph record. According to the urban dictionary, the B-side is the less popular song
but to audiophiles and the streets, B-side has come to be known as the more experimental, real or true-to-the-streets recording
of an artist. Be-side(s) Work directs us to the unknown side of the coin. A backstage entrance to the unprocessed processes,
blood, sweat and adventures of Em’kal Eyongakpa.
How does one interpret an anarchist archive created within one of the most prestigious institutions in the Netherlands? Shit.
Maybe, a delusional attempt or a facile interpretation of one of the layers of this book and skipping the institutional
bla bla/ hot air could suffice. Since Be-side(s) Works offers many layers of possible truths. Perhaps Be-side(s) Work traces the
boundaries of memories, metaphors, conversations, sounds, dreams and poetry. Perhaps Eyongakpa’s collection of yesteryears
interweaves realities, cities and moments offering us insight into a layered world — sampling experiences that are flavored with
emotions, thoughts and life. In this
recollection—on these pages where reminiscence is celebrated, mourning love and haunting dreams meet casually in a chapter.
While in other corners of the publication coliseums are built for nostalgia, icons and loved ones. Conceivably amassing
digitalized memories in such a manner proposes an overview to the frugality of life.
Walking on dusty glorified roads to nomad’s land, I wondered if ”letters from Etokobarek” speak of collective war amnesia or the
little man’s suffering? Listening to women gossip from the heart, I recognized the similitude to the casual poetry splattered in
the Book of Romance, chapter 17. Perhaps being in Hargeisa, Somaliland, among war ruins, dollars and hope, one overstands the desire to
share depictions of processes of yesteryears since forgetfulness awaits, like a hungry hyena on mankind. What’s memory worth in
time of Face Books?
This recollection of (visual) memories is made from the hearts and drawn with pencils sharpened by the harshness of life in
Eurolands. Biographies aside— its ability to recall worlds and knowledge systems remains far beyond our grasp, and there where
you forget to look, a bit of humor is hidden to relinquish misunderstood moments.
Bonding over words, world and jujuism; our conversations scrutinized the realities of Africa—the continent, not the country.
Finding similarities in differences provided depth to conversations that grew into collaboration where language, histories and
memories intermingle. When Em’kal invited me to contribute my curatorial two cents, I was not aware of the countless hours we
had to spend shifting through intimate moments and the conversations the process would spark. When I think of the hours spent in
the studio peeling off layers of digitalized memories and selecting thoughts that symbolized a certain era, process or profound
current affair, I remembered the Somali proverb; “If people come together, they can even mend a crack in the sky. Perhaps these
memories, friends, poems, visual footprints and processes show us ways to mend a crack in the sky?
Nonetheless, these precious sessions presented a thought-provoking puzzle, covering parameters of rites, coded-languages,
rituals and mundane routines–unified, these lingua francas of parallel veracities construct deeper notions and imagery that
underlie and challenge concepts of imaginations, dialogism, meaning and reality. At the end of the day, all that’s left is to
wander follow the traces, and loose track of time
in this publication.
?? Full moons later / Letters from Etokobarek( Eurolands) is a multimedia experience,
a fragmentary narrative born from recorded happenstances, diary notes and negotiations
following major personal and collective experiences between 2013 and 2014.
The installation which has as starting point, lived experiences, also draws from dreams,
rituals and a re-appropriation of recounted histories.
The collected materials are intuitively intertwined or woven. via basic analogue mechanics,
sculpture, video, sound, scribblings, text and photography in a fashion that not only obscures
the boundaries between the employed media but could also distort the notion of the real and
the illusory.The studio tryout was installed in two seperate spaces of close proximity
documentation view; studio-photography
Room 2: photo/video documentation of the process / traces (excerpt)
untitled (letters from etokobarek)
untitled (letters from etokobarek)
untitled (letters from etokobarek)
in addition to video and photographic documentation of the process/ build up
to the installation in room 1, live audio recording from room 1 installation
(mix of 4 stereo set up + room acoustics) is transmited via fm receivers (headphones)
in room 2. These sounds are mapped in space with original stereo files I listened to while I
scribbled initial material in installation room 1. Both sound sources are assigned to
different fm tramsmiters and switch as one moves across the room.
Using drawing materials,(oil pastels, oil sticks, charcoal, ink) some visitors leave
traces/ lines on wall paper based on what they hear/feel…
The traces might be used in subsequent presentations or not,
traces from visitors during first studio presentation (excerpt)
other: performance and film
video documentation (studio view) https://vimeo.com/117768646
project overview pdf full moons later – letters from etokobarek
“Diary of KHaL!A” (2013) (video poems/ conversational diaries)
3/9 video poems / experimental films, forms a part of Em’kal Eyongakpa video works based on audiovisual transcriptions of moments experienced.
She moves (Phase I)
6000 photographs, approximately 2,300km selected routes in the congo basin rain forest.
An attempt to re-capture a feeling I had as a child, driving through these forests with my parents. An unknown spirit of moving trees.The mosaics created from her moving stills tend to stop or reduce individual pictorial movements, evoking the struggles between basic impressions and the institutionalised norm.
The photographs were later on printed on transparent film and coated with epoxy resin.
documentation/installation view (prints on epoxy resin)
“A suivre!” is a French expression that could be translated as to be continued, to be followed or to be listened to.
How hot can an ephemeral political speech be and what amount of smoke can it breed?“
A suivre!, 2012, (33’33’’video loop, audio with overlapping excerpts from historic pro-conflict speeches of politicians, recorded between 1940 and 2012).