Samson Kambalu / Nyasaland Analysand/2019

Samson Kambalu / Nyasaland Analysand/2019
16 March - 13 April 2019
Installation View
Samson Kambalu / Nyasaland Analysand/2019
16 March - 13 April 2019
Installation View
Samson Kambalu / Nyasaland Analysand/2019
16 March - 13 April 2019
Installation View
Samson Kambalu / Nyasaland Analysand/2019
16 March - 13 April 2019
Installation View
Samson Kambalu / Nyasaland Analysand/2019
16 March - 13 April 2019
Installation View
Samson Kambalu / Nyasaland Analysand/2019
16 March - 13 April 2019
Installation View
Samson Kambalu / Nyasaland Analysand/2019
16 March - 13 April 2019
Installation View
Samson Kambalu / Nyasaland Analysand/2019
16 March - 13 April 2019
Installation View
Samson Kambalu / Nyasaland Analysand/2019
16 March - 13 April 2019
Installation View
Samson Kambalu / Nyasaland Analysand/2019
16 March - 13 April 2019
Installation View
Samson Kambalu / Nyasaland Analysand/2019
16 March - 13 April 2019
Installation View
Samson Kambalu / Nyasaland Analysand/2019
16 March - 13 April 2019
Installation View
Samson Kambalu / Nyasaland Analysand/2019
16 March - 13 April 2019
Installation View
Samson Kambalu / Nyasaland Analysand/2019
16 March - 13 April 2019
Installation View
Samson Kambalu / Nyasaland Analysand/2019
16 March - 13 April 2019
Installation View
Samson Kambalu / Nyasaland Analysand/2019
16 March - 13 April 2019
Installation View
Samson Kambalu / Nyasaland Analysand/2019
16 March - 13 April 2019
Installation View
Samson Kambalu / Nyasaland Analysand/2019
16 March - 13 April 2019
Installation View
Samson Kambalu / Nyasaland Analysand/2019
16 March - 13 April 2019
Installation View

Beni Flag: Green Base, 2019
Sewn polyester and cotton
Work: 100 x 100 cm
Samson Kambalu
White Winger, 2018
Digital pigment print on archival photo luster media
Work: 14.5 x 15.5 cm Frame: 31 x 31 cm
Samson Kambalu
Beni Flag :, 2019
Sewn polyester and cotton
Work: 100 x 100 cm
Samson Kambalu
Alternative Presidential Candidtate, 2018
Digital pigment prints on archival photo luster media
Work: 14.5 x 14.5 cm Frame: 31 x 31 cm
Samson Kambalu
Beni Flag: Alternative Presidential Candidate, 2019
Sewn polyester and cotton
Work: 100 x 100 cm
Samson Kambalu
Beni Flag: Cinema, 2019
Sewn polyester and cotton
Work: 100 x 100 cm
Samson Kambalu
Superfly,


Samson Kambalu
Military, 2017
Digital video,colour

Samson Kambalu
Beni,
Digital print on cardboard cut outs and wooden frames
Work: 200 x 200 cm
Samson Kambalu
Beni Flag: Yellow Boat Country, 2019
Sewn polyester and cotton
Work: 100 x 100 cm
Samson Kambalu
Beni Flag: Radio, 2019
Sewn polyester and cotton
Work: 100 x 100 cm
Samson Kambalu
Dandy Gum Flags: Constitutional Arragements, 2019
Set of 19 digital drawings on photo tiles
Each work: 21 x 21 cm Installation : variable dimensions

Preikestolen, 2017
Digital Video, colour
33 Seconds
Samson Kambalu
Dandy Gum Flags: Southern States, 2019
Set of 22 digital drawings on photo tiles
Each work: 21 x 21 cm Installation : variable dimensions
Samson Kambalu
Beni Flag: Sovereign States (this is not what I meant when I said bang bang), 2019
Sewn polyester and cotton
Work: 100 x 100 cm
Samson Kambalu
Dandy Gum Flags: Parachute , 2019
Set of 18 digital drawings on photo tiles
Each work: 21 x 21 cm Installation : variable dimensions
Samson Kambalu
Beni Flag: The Sea South of the Country, 2019
Sewn polyester and cotton
Work: 100 x 100 cm
Samson Kambalu
Beni Flag: Offercer's Mess, 2019
Sewn polyester and cotton
Work: 100 x 100 cm
Samson Kambalu
Boat 8, 2018
Digital video, colour


Exercise Yard , 2017
Digital video,colour
1:02 minutes
Samson Kambalu
Beni Flag - Sun King Nation, 2019
Sewn polyester and cotton
Work: 100 x 100 cm
Samson Kambalu
Steamer , 2016
Digital Video, colour

Samson Kambalu
Boat Trip, 2018
Digital video, colour

Samson Kambalu
Yellow City From A Distance, 2018
Digital pigment print on archival photo luster media
Work: 14.5 x 14.5 cm Frame: 31 x 31 cm
Samson Kambalu
Boat X, 2018
Digital video, colour
25 Seconds
Samson Kambalu
Constitution 2, 2018
Digital pigment print on archival photo luster media
Work: 14.5 x 14.5 cm Frame: 31 x 31 cm

Samson Kambalu / Nyasaland Analysand/2019 - Installation View

16 March - 13 April 2019

Samson Kambalu / Nyasaland Analysand/2019 - Installation View

16 March - 13 April 2019

Samson Kambalu / Nyasaland Analysand/2019 - Installation View

16 March - 13 April 2019

Samson Kambalu / Nyasaland Analysand/2019 - Installation View

16 March - 13 April 2019

Samson Kambalu / Nyasaland Analysand/2019 - Installation View

16 March - 13 April 2019

Samson Kambalu / Nyasaland Analysand/2019 - Installation View

16 March - 13 April 2019

Samson Kambalu / Nyasaland Analysand/2019 - Installation View

16 March - 13 April 2019

Samson Kambalu / Nyasaland Analysand/2019 - Installation View

16 March - 13 April 2019

Samson Kambalu / Nyasaland Analysand/2019 - Installation View

16 March - 13 April 2019

Samson Kambalu / Nyasaland Analysand/2019 - Installation View

16 March - 13 April 2019

Samson Kambalu / Nyasaland Analysand/2019 - Installation View

16 March - 13 April 2019

Samson Kambalu / Nyasaland Analysand/2019 - Installation View

16 March - 13 April 2019

Samson Kambalu / Nyasaland Analysand/2019 - Installation View

16 March - 13 April 2019

Samson Kambalu / Nyasaland Analysand/2019 - Installation View

16 March - 13 April 2019

Samson Kambalu / Nyasaland Analysand/2019 - Installation View

16 March - 13 April 2019

Samson Kambalu / Nyasaland Analysand/2019 - Installation View

16 March - 13 April 2019

Samson Kambalu / Nyasaland Analysand/2019 - Installation View

16 March - 13 April 2019

Samson Kambalu / Nyasaland Analysand/2019 - Installation View

16 March - 13 April 2019

Samson Kambalu / Nyasaland Analysand/2019 - Installation View

16 March - 13 April 2019

Beni Flag: Green Base

Samson Kambalu

White Winger

Samson Kambalu

Beni Flag :

Samson Kambalu

Alternative Presidential Candidtate

Samson Kambalu

Beni Flag: Alternative Presidential Candidate

Samson Kambalu

Beni Flag: Cinema

Samson Kambalu

Superfly

Samson Kambalu

Military

Samson Kambalu

Beni

Samson Kambalu

Beni Flag: Yellow Boat Country

Samson Kambalu

Beni Flag: Radio

Samson Kambalu

Dandy Gum Flags: Constitutional Arragements

Preikestolen

Samson Kambalu

Dandy Gum Flags: Southern States

Samson Kambalu

Beni Flag: Sovereign States (this is not what I meant when I said bang bang)

Samson Kambalu

Dandy Gum Flags: Parachute

Samson Kambalu

Beni Flag: The Sea South of the Country

Samson Kambalu

Beni Flag: Offercer's Mess

Samson Kambalu

Boat 8

Exercise Yard

Samson Kambalu

Beni Flag - Sun King Nation

Samson Kambalu

Steamer

Samson Kambalu

Boat Trip

Samson Kambalu

Yellow City From A Distance

Samson Kambalu

Boat X

Samson Kambalu

Constitution 2

Goodman Gallery Johannesburg
16 March – 13 April 2019

Nyasaland: Former British Protectorate established in 1907 and later renamed Malawi when the country gained independence from Britain on 6 July 1964
Analysand: A person undergoing psychotherapy

The anagrammed title of Samson Kambalu’s second solo exhibition with Goodman Gallery is reflective of the work in both content and form. Drawing on his Malawian upbringing, Kambalu references the syncretic cultures he grew up around such as the Beni to produce work that celebrates and interrogates this practice of integrating Western influences into local traditions and customs.

Kambalu describes the formation of syncretic culture as an act of ‘détournement’ – similar to the Situationist strategy of revaluation. In this exhibition Kambalu employs the same process, epitomised by his ‘Bubble Gum Flags’. The work pays homage to a childhood brand of gum, ‘Dandy Bubble Gum’, which contained cards bearing flags of various countries in its wrapper. Kambalu and his friends would collect the gum, chew it and shuffle the flags on the playground; a form of unintentional abstraction the artist has since come to use for his series of colourful geometric prints and constructions.

The presence of flags further informs Nyasaland Analysand through reference to the Malawian culture of the Beni, Mganda and Malipenga dances. This tradition sees individuals donning uniforms worn by the “Keyala” or King’s African Rifles (KAR), an East-African branch of the British army who served in both World Wars, to create a form of masquerade that incorporates flags and other Western symbols of nationalism. A reference to these dances can be found in cardboard-cutouts of Beni and Mganda soldiers who stand at attention around the exhibition beside their packaging.

For Kambalu these dances and other forms of syncretic culture reflect a type of hysteria. “I think Africans subjected to Western culture and then bewildered by it turn their experiences into a dance as a means of coping with it,” says Kambalu. Dance and other forms of play then become a form of self-therapy and means for warding off alienation.

“Hysteria can be a sign of health, your soul is still stirring, and it has the potential of turning whatever you’re experiencing into art. I like this kind of psychoanalysis, it allows for affirmation. In Malawi, if you’re sick you don’t go to a witchdoctor you go to a herbalist. You go to the witchdoctor to be told a story for your suffering.”

Critical to Kambalu’s exploration of syncretic culture is through its sense of time. The African dandy is another common character found in post-colonial societies, appearing in typically Western clothes. Kambalu adopts this persona in what he calls ‘Nyau Cinema’, a series of brief filmed vignettes inspired by the psychogeography and histories of various places including Europe and America. The repetitive and diagrammatic nature of the Nyau films lend the exhibition its rhythms.

“Western time is teleological, it has a beginning and an end. African and Chewa time is more an eternal immanence,” says Kambalu. “Looks can be deceptive. What I like about syncretic cultures is that they look Western and yet the heart of it is totally alien. I think that’s very much like me.”

About the artist

Samson Kambalu is an artist and writer working in a variety of media, including site-specific installation, video, performance and literature. His work is autobiographical and approaches art as an arena for critical thought and sovereign activities. Born in Malawi, Kambalu’s work fuses aspects of the Nyau gift-giving culture of the Chewa, the anti-reification theories of the Situationist movement and the Protestant tradition of inquiry, criticism and dissent. He has been featured in major exhibitions and projects worldwide, including the Dakar Biennale (2014, 2016), Tokyo International Art Festival (2009) and the Liverpool Biennial (2004, 2016). He was included in All the World’s Futures, Venice Biennale 2015, curated by Okwui Enwezor. More recently Kambalu was the Malawi Cultural Consultant for the film The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind and translated the script into Chichewa. He also appears in the film as the shopkeeper Joe Godsten.

Kambalu studied at the University of Malawi (BA Fine Art and Ethnomusicology); Nottingham Trent University (MA Fine Art) and Chelsea College of Art and Design (PhD Fine Art). Kambalu, who began his academic career at the University of Malawi, has won research fellowships with Yale University and the Smithsonian Institution, and is an associate professor of Fine Art at Ruskin School of Art, and a fellow at Magdalen College, Oxford University

Samson Kambalu

Samson Kambalu is an artist and writer working in a variety of media, including site-specific installation, video, performance and literature. His work is autobiographical and approaches art as an arena for critical thought and sovereign activities. Born in Malawi, Kambalu’s work fuses aspects of the Nyau gift-giving culture of the Chewa, the anti-reification theories of the Situationist movement and the Protestant tradition of inquiry, criticism and dissent. He has been featured in major exhibitions and projects worldwide, including the Dakar Biennale (2014, 2016), Tokyo International Art Festival (2009) and the Liverpool Biennial (2004, 2016). He was included in All the World’s Futures, Venice Biennale 2015, curated by Okwui Enwezor. More recently Kambalu was the Malawi Cultural Consultant for the film The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind and translated the script into Chichewa. He also was included on the 2019 Dallas Medianale.

Kambalu studied at the University of Malawi (BA Fine Art and Ethnomusicology); Nottingham Trent University (MA Fine Art) and Chelsea College of Art and Design (PhD Fine Art). Kambalu, who began his academic career at the University of Malawi, has won research fellowships with Yale University and the Smithsonian Institution, and is an associate professor of Fine Art at Ruskin School of Art, and a fellow at Magdalen College, Oxford University.