THE DELUSIONS OF CARE by Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung
110 x 185 mm, 144 pages, black and white printing, perfect bound, 2021
The misappropriated notion of care and the paths for its rehabilitation.
The Delusions of Care is a culmination of three long essays that ruminate on notions of care in our contemporary and historically. It is concerned with the appropriation of care by the capitalist establishment as much as supremacists of all kinds. What can we consider as care and who gives care for what reasons. Stuck in the cup de sac of a pandemic that has brought most of the world to its knees, these questions seem of some pertinence. The reflections in this book spanning a critique of care from the regimes of birth control through police brutality to the storming of the Reichstag in the summer of 2020, that very much set precedence to the storming of the Capitol Hill by Trumpists and White supremacists. The book does not only point out the pitfalls of a corrupted notion of care, but tries to offer paths for rehabilitation, restoration, restitution through a non-selfish spirit of care.
This book is a manifesto in which love and crisis imbue each other with the spirit of care. Bonaventure Ndikung calls on those in its belly to seize the means of the production of caring from the beast of state power and corporate greed. —Arjun Appadurai
This is a brilliant and masterful book. Beneath the notion of care lies an ocean of lures and contradictions. Bonaventure Ndikung proposes here an original crossing of art and politics: an odyssey composed with great subtlety and real talent. All the style, intelligence and generosity of the author are here offered to the reader.
—Seloua Luste Boulbina
In this incisive appraisal of contemporary discourses and affect of care, Bonaventure Ndikung lays bare the tensions underpinning the politics of good intentions in the age of mass individualism. He vividly shows the extent to which decoupling the giving and receiving of care from paternalistic and disempowering effects is a matter of power relations. A proper ethics of care for our times, he suggests, must primarily rest on a foundational care for justice.
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.