09.11.2017 - 14.01.2018

Going Back to Forget

Kevin van Braak, Rabin Huissen, Sarojini Lewis, Sandim Mendes, Sara Rajaei, Sara Hamadeh, Abhishek Thapar, Nicola Unger, Efrat Zehavi

Opening Thursday 9 November, the group exhibition Going Back to Forget centres on remembrance and personal connections to larger histories. The artists pursue the traces of their family backgrounds, in order to explore their own interconnectedness with the historical events and migrations that have formed today’s world. Parallel to the exhibition are performances, workshops, and a video experiment.

Going Back to Forget reflects a younger generation’s growing, shared interest in history, cultural legacy, and the extended relations to which they are integral. The artists in this exhibition actively reconnect to their family histories by returning to the places where they were played out, recounting oral histories, or keeping alive memories of experiences their parents or grandparents never spoke of or were unable to communicate. The artists’ quests resulted in works in which the art of storytelling, ritual acts, material traces, shadow images, tactile and taste sensations and personal presence are recurring features.

Sarojini Lewis (NL, 1984) follows the traces of migration histories with which she is entwined; a journey that takes her from the Netherlands to Suriname, India, England, and Palestine. She portrays herself in these landscapes, and in video performances, allowing the cultures of her ancestors to leave their imprints on her skin.
The work of Sandim Mendes (NL, 1986) is motivated by a desire to weave herself into the legacy of Cape Verdean culture. She delves into relatives’ memories, using her imagination to fill in the gaps. In a new installation at TENT, she reconstructs the stories with which her grandfather, in his social role as a griot or storyteller, transmitted oral  history and knowledge. The story told of a future life elsewhere.
In a penetrating new video work, Sara Rajaei (IR, 1976) employs a child’s perspective to find a voice for memories of a hostile world that hitherto could not be spoken. Rajaei’s use of strong, mental images bears witness to experiences for which documentary imagery often fails.
Kevin van Braak (NL, 1975) went to Indonesia to make a shadow play to portray the story of his grandfather, who was forced to work on the Burma railway line as a prisoner of war. The result is an epic narrative of a past we should never forget, but it is also a ceremony that helps to free his grandfather’s spirit from this traumatic history.
Rabin Huissen (NL) creates abstract memory images. During travels, he captures imprints of his temporary presence that he develops on-site using sea or river water. Huissen stores these images in boxes, which he only opens during personal meetings with visitors, thus emphasising that re-activating memories is a moment of intimate engagement.

Public Programme
The exhibition’s lively public programme explores the broader artistic significance of memory and personal interconnectedness. There will be a lecture performance by artist Sara Hamadeh, a book presentation and discussion with artist Efrat Zehavi, a video experiment by performance artist Nicola Unger, and a solo performance by theatre-maker Abhishek Thapar whose brave and moving My Home at the Intersection inspired this exhibition’s title.

Arts education

The artist duo RoosWiesBlauw give a workshop throughout the exhibition period in which children from groups 7 and 8 address the exhibition’s topics to create an online audio play.

Saturday 18th November, 20.00 h – Abhishek Thapar
Sunday 19th November, 20.00 h – Abhishek Thapar
Thursday 7th December, 20.00 h – Sara Hamadeh
Friday 15th December, 19.00 h – Efrat Zehavi (Book presentation)
Tuesday 5th – Tuesday 14th January- Nicola Unger (Video-experiment)