Barking dogs in the head

Artistic Investigations

Analogue and digital paintings, experimental videos and installations (work-in-progress) presented at Plateforme Contemporaine Kinshasa

The exhibition is part of a series of works on contemporary and future mythologies. Myths are strange formations: often deeply private and emotional stories of personal fates, family and interpersonal constellations, which at the same time have the claim to explain large contexts, to make general statements about culture, history, society. Myths distort reality: something that was previously „disguised“ is now seen in a „distorted“ form. The mythic distortion creates a perspective on reality that is true without claiming to tell the truth. Myths are intrusive, brazenly placing imaginations and fantasies into reality.

The duo Mukenge/Schellhammer has been collecting stories, narratives, shreds, memories and experiences for many years, which they bring together in their new project to create fragments of a new language of myth in different formats and media. The visual excerpts from the artists‘ everyday life in Kinshasa and Europe are on the one hand imbued with the grand narratives of our time, to which they often form counter-narratives. In the myths of the present and the future, personal experiences, private stories and everyday experiences meet rumours, gossip and popular stories as well as historical mixtures, traditional cultural motifs and symbolic forms. And as with most great myths, the future myths in Mukenge/Schellhammer’s images are based on a permanent movement of travel. They are characterised by a productive restlessness and nervousness, which emerges in the collision of the artists‘ different cultural contexts and gives rise to „visual narratives“ based on the artists‘ own radically subjective experience, observations and investigations of their own daily lives on the one hand, and on collective narratives and supra-personal stories that surround us all on the other.
The result is a collage of truth and lies, history and reality, fiction, illusion and simulation, the unconscious and the obvious, traditional and popular, personal and collective images and stories. The very small stories meet the very large ones. On the way, the world appears as another.

Text: Mukenge/Schellhammer in conversation with Marian Kaiser

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