’The Earth Inside’ By Nicola Brandt At NAGN

NICOLA Brandt’s exhibition ‘The Earth Inside’ opens at the National Art Gallery of Namibia (NAGN) on Thursday, 31 July at 18h00.

This will be Brandt’s first solo show, which is a multimedia installation consisting of video, photographs, audio, archival materials and found objects.

It is widely documented that between 1904 and 1908, Germans committed genocide against the Herero and the Nama people of south and central Namibia.

According to the historian Marion Wallace, “it has been vigorously argued and equally vigorously denied that the Namibian genocide, the first of the 20th century, planted seeds of the genocide later committed by the Third Reich.”

The repercussions of these events are still powerful today.

In ‘The Earth Inside’ Brandt attempts to highlight particular counter-narratives and blindspots in relation to this painful past, and reflects on place, and on the role of photography in shaping the perceptions of this history.

In her post-documentary approach to film, the artist creates vignettes that reveal three parallel lives in a small coastal town.

A Herero woman makes her living from tourists taking photos of her in her traditional dress. On her way to work, she walks past Herero and Nama mass graves.

A German Namibian woman in her 90s tries to maintain her illusions about the Second World War and recalls a romantic encounter in the cemetery that lies near her home and adjacent to the unmarked graves.

A woman in her 20s has returned to Namibia, the country of her birth, after years of living in Europe, and grapples with her heritage.

The three stories are accompanied by large-scale video and photography triptychs of the Namibian desert coastline and its hinterland. These deceitfully beautiful, derelict landscapes contain places of historical violence.

The sites are largely unmarked and their identity has been preserved primarily through personal memories and oral history.

The exhibition, curated by Vid Simoniti, will be accompanied by a series of talks at the University of Namibia (Unam) and a panel discussion at the NAGN.

The exhibition will run from 1 to 23 August, from Mondays to Fridays at 08h00 to 17h00 and Saturdays from 09h00 to 14h00.

Additional video screenings will take place on Friday, 1 August at 18h00.

Source : The Namibian

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