What is RAW Académie?
RAW Académie is an experimental residential programme for the research and study of artistic and curatorial practice and thought. The programme takes place over seven weeks in Dakar. It is dedicated to a dynamic reflection on artistic research, curatorial practice and critical writing. The Académie is held during two distinct sessions per year; October–December and April–June. Each session is directed by a lead faculty who has displayed an off-the-beaten-track practice in regard to art, curating and art criticism. Session 5 will be led by Nigerian artist Otobong Nkanga. It will take place from October 29 to December 14, 2018.
Session 5: Germination
Planting a seed in the right soil is not enough to make it sprout. The material and structural conditions around the seed, that may have left it in a state of dormancy, must be taken into consideration in order to provide fertile ground for thinking about ways in which we work, live and create together. Each element such as the soil, rain, heat and humidity are equally necessary and vital for the process of germination to take place.
Otobong Nkanga’s multi-stage project Carved To Flow is a long-term research and practice oriented platform that uses material investigation and experimentation to produce new systems of support across economy, sociality and art. The third phase—Germination—comes to Dakar, Senegal to build a new pillar of creative sustenance for a project that is envisaged as a structure that can have real impact on lived reality, using art as a device to reflect on what it means to sculpt or carve possibilities within societies and create collective responses within spaces of crisis.
It is becoming ever more urgent to understand how entangled our existence is to the very elements we exploit, use or waste. How can we create structures for care and repair? How can we carve or sculpt against the grain to create a flow? How can we work in coherence with the land and mineral body that holds us all? We can no longer ignore the particles we breath into our lungs, speckled sometimes with particles of arsenic but at other times with the pollen of a jasmine flower.
Germination functions as a laboratory space between the imagined and lived experiences which allows for the possibilities to explore ideas around ecology, architecture and sustainability. Fellows and invited faculty will work with practitioners in Senegal to connect and enrich structures that run beyond the lines of usual curatorial norms but that teach us how to be in space and resonate beyond, to resist stalemate and hibernation by seeking symbiosis with the localities we live in.