I was in Arnhem end of August. To visit family, to see Sonsbeek 20>24 and to speak during the Sunday Service in the Eusebius Kerk. The topic was How to carry the load and thus fits exactly to the topics I am dealing with at the moment. In my last newsletter I talked about Bonaventure Ndikung’s book The Delusions of Care, four weeks later I am standing in an exhibition co-curated by him and speaking on this very topic, or more specifically on the question of how to do it, how to care. What does it mean from the perspective of a curator? My concern is not only for the things on display, but also for those who conceive them, make them, exhibit them. I am aware that I am inviting artists into violent spaces, spaces we were never meant to survive in. I have decided to be here, to claim space and to invite my friends to do the same. I want my friends to be well, I care as much as I can. I ask what they need and I learn what the institution does to deny my friends those needs, and I learn what I can do to make it work and eventually change. But care also means self-care, knowing your own needs and limits and being able to stand up for them. A lifelong process of negotiation also (and perhaps especially) with oneself.
We were asked to bring a song to play for everyone following our sermon. I chose My Queen ist Ada Eastman from Sons of Kemet:
Still here still grinding
Hustling and striving
In these dark times these dark
Minds I’m a diamond
Ibrahim Mahama, Parliament of Ghosts, 2019 & in the back Electric Dub Station (Orbital Ignition) by Antonio Jose Guzman and Iva Jankovic, 2018 – ongoing, photo by Django van Ardenne