Ibrahim Mahama

On Monumental Silences

New Project by Ibrahim Mahama
Curated by Antonia Alampi

The recent events of Charlottesville (US) encouraged again an urgent debate on mainstream media about the racist and colonial monuments that adorn our cities. Monuments and memorials of colonial and imperial legacy that are rarely contextualized still stand in public space and have not been combined with counter perspectives that would allow for a narrative that is more adherent to the truth about the events or the people, which the sculptures represent.

On Monumental Silences by Ghanaian artist Ibrahim Mahama is a response to the presence of these types of monuments, in many cities in Belgium and Flanders, and to their messages full of racism, white supremacy, imperialism and patriarchy. By engaging with the infamous monument of Father De Deken in Wilrijk (by Jean-Marie Hérain and erected in 1904), this project will confront the audience with the values and propaganda this image still performs and inspire a reflection on how such an image could be transformed.

On January 16, 2018 a performative and participatory action by artist Ibrahim Mahama will be organized at our premises between 4 and 9pm.

A copy in soft clay of the monument of Pater de Deken of Wilrijk will be modified, reshaped and re-imagined together with the audience and in a moderated discussion with historian, diversity and inclusion expert Omar Ba. History will become a malleable matter to act upon and reshape towards a future counter-monument to that of Pater de Deken.

On Monumental Silences, by Ibrahim Mahama, marks the first act in a series of interventions within a three-year collaboration between Kunsthal Extra City and the Middelheim Museum, in which the function of monuments in the city of today is critically re-assessed.

Artists: Ibrahim Mahama