AN ONGOING-OFFCOMING TALE – RUMINATIONS ON ART, CULTURE, POLITICS AND US/OTHERS by Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung
130 x 220mm, 528 pages, full colour printing, perfect bound, softcover, 2022
An Ongoing-Offcoming Tale comprises abstractions, subversions and poetic ruminations, housed within essays that engage with the lives and practices of over 30 artists.
The book opens with the question: If only some leaves could speak? And in the journey that follows, we encounter many such possibilities—that leave us asking questions of the boundaries we place around the things we are allowed to think, the knowledge we call knowledge, and the questions we permit ourselves to ask. The book is an exercise in learning to reimagine: bodies, land, knowledge, memory, song. Ndikung allows us to step into the visions and the lived forms of knowledge that inform his curatorial practice.
As we collectively emerge from a stillness that made it impossible to look away from the harm caused by social infrastructures we once deemed necessary, these essays are more urgent than ever. They give us tools to think with about the 'contemporary' in meaningful ways, enabling us to ask important questions of culture and power.
Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung (born 1977 in Yaoundé, Cameroon, lives and works in Berlin) is an independent art curator, art critic, author and biotechnologist. He is founder and artistic director of SAVVY Contemporary Berlin and editor-in-chief of SAVVY Journal for critical texts on contemporary African art. He was associate professor at Muthesius University Kiel, and is currently guest professor in curatorial studies at the Städelschule in Frankfurt. He was curator-at-large for documenta 14, and was a guest curator of the 2018 Dak'Art Biennale in Senegal. As part of the Miracle Workers Collective, he curated the Finnish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2019.