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Home Is Where The Music Is

Home Is Where The Music Is

de Appel, Schipluidenlaan 12, Amsterdam

Home Is Where The Music Is
de Appel listens and learns with the curatorial team of sonsbeek20→24 

First of all, the song hears something in you and you’ve let yourself hear what the song hears in you. In advance of the proper name, in advance of the geography, in advance of the history, like before you know any of those things. If you follow that, if you let yourself go with that, there is no telling where you will end up. If you follow the music, and years later you find yourself sitting somewhere, and you’re like: “How did I get here?” It’s ‘cause you followed, you followed the music which heard something in you which you yourself did not know of. But you followed it. You let yourself follow it. And so, when that happens, and when the music hears something in you that is more than you know about yourself, more than you have a language for, if you can follow that unknown language, then you are embarked on the understanding that you yourself are an Afrosonic mapping. You yourself are also an itinerary of a circumnavigatory experience. In other words, a song is inherently diasporic. And so are you, but you don’t know it yet. Stuck on the dancefloor in New York, or the dancefloor in Douala, you don’t necessarily know that. You think you know it, but the song knows more than you.”

Kodwo Eshun in conversation with Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung and Amal Alhaag for talking heads #1, part of sonsbeek20→24’s online programming

Image from the book Common Place (2016) by Tamsyn Adams and Sophie Feyder. A Wattville lounge with its plethora of objects evoking Western urban lifestyle. Photo by Torrance Ngilima

This year, de Appel considers notions of ‘getting home’— both poetically and pragmatically. We are searching for a new address for 2022 onwards, as our home in the iconic school building at Schipluidenlaan 12 in the Nieuw-West area of Amsterdam (now Broedplaats Lely) will undergo redevelopment. In addition to this, we are adjusting to a new reality, brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic: much of our work now takes place at home and reaches our community in theirs. Well beyond these practical changes, however, we work with a fuller awareness of the poetics of home. There is a desire to move art and history beyond alienation effects – towards a sense of joy and belonging in the world, with each other, however near or far we may find ourselves from crib and kin. There is also a need to mourn and remember, to make room in this life for those who have departed.

To inaugurate this year’s programming, de Appel is honoured to welcome team members of sonsbeek2024, the 12th edition of the quadrennial for art in the public space, that is set to open this spring in Arnhem, the Netherlands. Together Artistic director Dr.Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, and curators Amal Alhaag, Zippora Elders, Krista Jantowski and Aude Christel Mgba have collectively thought a program that will dissect and complicate the notion of home under the umbrella title Home Is Where The Music Is.

March 1, 2021 LEAD-OFF TRACK

“I want to go home…” or How a Nation Killed an Upright Citizen or How to Drown in an Ocean of Grief

March 8-10, 2021 SEMINARS beginning at 3pm (UTC+1)

Home Is Where The Music Is

About sonsbeek20→24, Force Times Distance: On Labour and its Sonic Ecologies

sonsbeek20→24 is built around the idea of collaborative curatorial practice, where different curatorial practices are in conversation with each other. This is combined with the commitment of a five-year engagement within the usually fleeting biennial structure. The building, maintaining and supporting of relationships, with artists, with partners, and with the homebase of sonsbeek, Arnhem, is foundational to this way of continuous working.

Amal Alhaag

(1983) is an Amsterdam-based independent curator, dj, and researcher who develops ongoing experimental and collaborative research practice, public programs, and projects on global spatial politics, archives, colonialism, counter-culture, oral histories, and popular culture. Her projects and collaborations with people, initiatives, and institutions invite, stage, question, and play with "uncomfortable" issues that riddle, rewrite, remix, share, and compose narratives in impermanent settings.

Zippora Elders

(1986) is based between The Netherlands and Berlin. Since 2016 she is the director of Kunstfort bij Vijfhuizen. Previously, she has worked at Foam, Sandberg Institute, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and freelanced for courses, magazines and foundations. As an art historian, her practice ranges from modern art and avant-gardes on the one hand, to photography, moving images and digital media on the other. In line with this, she oversees the exhibitions for sonsbeek at the various indoor and outdoor locations and supervises venues, installation and artists, all the while linking this with the activities in the field of peripheral programming, publications, development and online.

Krista Jantowski

Krista Jantowski (1986) runs WALTER books, a bookshop and reading room, located in Arnhem (NL). Ever since opening its doors in 2016, WALTER books is open five days a week for conversation, (collective) reading, and gossip, centering conviviality and hosting its institutional and not-so-institutional partners, as well as student initiatives, experimental poetry nights and reading groups. As assistant curator, her work focuses on the active work of support as well as finding ways to establish structural and long term connections to Arnhem, its institutions and communities.

Aude Christel Mgba

(1991) is an independent curator based between Cameroon and the Netherlands. She was a participant of de Appel’s 2018/19 Curatorial Programme. In 2017, Mgba worked as an assistant curator next to Cécile Bourne-Farrell for the SUD2017, an international triennial of art in the public space, organised by doual'art, a centre for contemporary art, for the city of Douala. She is a member of the Madrassa Collective.

Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung 

(1977, Yaoundé, Cameroon). Ndikung is a curator, author, and biotechnologist. He is the founder and artistic director of SAVVY Contemporary Berlin. He was curator-at-large for documenta 14 in Athens and Kassel and guest curator of the 2018 Dak’Art Biennale in Senegal, and together with the Miracle Workers Collective he curated the Finland Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2019. He was the artistic director of the 12th Bamako Encounters - African Biennale of Photography, which opened in late 2019.