Tabita Rezaire: An introduction

Screening and conversation on the colonial nature of technology

15 April 2021
20:00 — 21:15

Location: Online programme

Join us for an evening dedicated to the work of Tabita Rezaire. The opening of the much awaited exhibition of Tabita Rezaire Symbiose Immaculée (Immaculate Symbiosis) at IMPAKT [Centre for Media Culture] and the Centraal Museum is still on hold. Meanwhile, on 15 April, we invite you to the special opening of the virtual exhibition Symbiose Immaculée. During this evening we reflect on some of the main themes in Tabita Rezaire’s practice: post-colonialism, her African roots and the relationship between technology and colonialism. The programme includes the screening of two of Rezaire’s films, a conversation between Dr. Edward Akintola “Akin” Hubbard and the curators of the exhibition, Laurie Cluitmans and Arjon Dunnewind.

Tabita Rezaire (b.1989, Paris) is a French-born Guyanese/Danish artist. She has lived in Johannesburg and currently resides in Cayenne, French Guiana. Her art blends various fields of knowledge, cultures, and views into a web full of references to mysticism, science, ecology, African history and post-Internet cultures.
For this special evening we will show fragments of Orbit Diapason: the new video installation commissioned by IMPAKT and Centraal Museum especially for the solo-exhibition Symbiose Immaculée. 

The second film, Deep Down Tidal (2017, 19 min) deals with the hidden, submarine and colonial nature of our technological infrastructure. It may feel as if the internet is up in the clouds, but in fact it’s at the bottom of the ocean, in the form of 880,000 kilometers of fiber-optic cables. These cables make up the essential infrastructure for sending all our emails, websites, photos and films. These cable networks expand along old colonial routes: a new form of electronic imperialism? Deep Down Tidal is a video essay in typical style, weaving together cosmological, spiritual, political and technological narratives about water and its role in communication, then and now. 

We will discuss these video works with Dr. Edward Akintola (Akin) Hubbard. He lectures at the University of Utrecht, focussing on the relation between art and society. He looks at arts, music, film, media and literature using ethnographic research methods and bringing art practices into dialogue with cultural theory and globalization studies. He is currently preparing his first book, tentatively titled Blue Batuku: The Making of an Afro-Creole Musical Vanguard in Cape Verde, based on over three years of fieldwork in the Cape Verde Islands.

As modern information and communication technologies become omnipresent in our digital societies, we urgently need to understand the cultural, political and environmental forces that have shaped them. Looking at Tabita’s work, this event seeks to unravel the colonial nature of technology, making clear just how much Western values and power structures have influenced the way we see and identify ourselves.

This evening we also launch the online exhibition Tabita Rezaire: Symbiose Immaculée.
After the event you can visit the exhibition and have a look at the works, including Sorry for Real.
In Sorry for Real (2015, 17 min) ‘the Western world’ apologises for the violent history of slavery, colonialism and the continuing exploitation of African people and resources. We see a smartphone chat in which ‘the West’ asks for forgiveness. But what purpose does an apology serve? Who benefits from it? Which power structures are concealed behind it?

Visit the online exhibition here


Read more about Tabita Rezaire: Symbiose Immaculée, opening soon at IMPAKT and the Centraal Museum.

Read more about Tabita Rezaire: Symbiose Immaculée here

In the context of this exhibition IMPAKT and Centraal Museum organise a series of public events online:

29 April, 20:00 h
Tainted Histories: Screening Tabita Rezaire
Online event i.c.w. Rainbows End Festival of Creative Coding Utrecht. Screening of two Rezaire’s videos and a conversation between Camille Barton (Sandberg Institute), Rosa Wevers (Utrecht University) and one of the curators of the exhibition Arjon Dunnewind (IMPAKT).

Read more about Tainted Histories

Tabita Rezaire: Symbiose Immaculée is a partnership between IMPAKT [Centre for Media Culture] and Centraal Museum Utrecht, and consists of two presentations. At IMPAKT three works are on display: Mamelles Ancentrales, Peaceful Warrior and Sorry for Real. The second part of the exhibition is held in the Annex of the Centraal Museum (Agnietenstraat 1, Utrecht). The installation shown there, Orbit Diapason, is the result of a project commissioned by IMPAKT and the Centraal Museum; the film in the installation is partly funded by the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) and Los Angeles Filmforum. The exhibition has also been generously supported by the Mondriaan Fund, OUTSET, the Theodora Niemeijer Fund and the Fentener van Vlissingen Fund.


Event archive

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