In her practice, Helena Uambembe uses storytelling as a way of understanding history and the world. As children, we are often told stories, some true and some not. But if told carefully, it can be an opportunity to share a memorable lesson. Retelling history through the use of myth, folklore and symbolism, allows us to access/employ a different way of remembering. This approach seeks to preserve past practices of remembrance, while responding to the contemporary using the same practice. In doing so, we allow history to become ingrained in our mind and collective consciousness.
Helena Uambembe is an Angolan-South African artist whose work interrogates the dyadic relationship between the political (world politics) and the domestic (personal politics). Drawing from personal and familial history, Uambembe maps the ideological and intimate space created by the historical and colonial links between Angolan, Southern African and global history. Her Angolan parents fled the Angolan civil war back in 1975 and settled in the embattled Pomfret with other families of the 32 Battalion, where Uambembe was born in 1994. This complex family history (itself a disruption of current accepted narratives of post-colonial Africa), the 32 Battalion, Pomfret and her Angolan heritage are dominant themes in her multi-disciplinary approach. In 2022, Uambembe was awarded the Baloise Art Prize 2022 for her installation What you see is not what you remember, shown at Art Basel, Statements section. Currently, she is based in Berlin, where she is fellow of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Recently, she opened her exhibition Blooming in Stasis: 25.8230° S, 23.5312° E at Zollamt, Museum MMK für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt.
The lecture will be held in English language.