Rwandan-born Dutch artist Christian Nyampeta (b. 1981) works across art, design and theory in an ongoing enquiry into ways of living together.
Words After the World is an exhibition which builds on Nyampeta’s recent residency at Camden Arts Centre. During this time, Nyampeta hosted a scriptorium, in which he convened a working group to translate Francophone texts by philosophers such as Alexis Kagame and Maniragaba Balibutsa. This collective structure led to the production of the script for Nyampeta’s new film, which conveys a fictional writer attempting to complete a novella at a time when the use of existing words is restricted by copyright: as a result, the writer is compelled to craft new words in order to avoid both silence and persecution.
Nyampeta’s film is presented in Gallery 3 within an installation that he describes as a ‘hosting structure’. This encompasses murals across the gallery walls, furniture constructions, and a dossier reflecting on the process of producing the film script. Nyampeta creates a space for the study of the making and the communion of knowledge. He asks: what happens if words and meaning were subjected to prohibition? What synonyms could be created to replace them? The working group will continue to convene, to translate and to publish throughout the duration of the exhibition.
Christian Nyampeta creates fictions, models, dialogues and commentaries, concerned with the difficulties of being in common. Recent contributions include Intimate Trespass: Hapticality, Waywardness, and the Practice of Entanglement––A Study Day with Saidiya Hartman, organised by Dr Rizvana Bradley and the Serpentine Gallery; Now is the Time of Monsters. What Comes After Nations? at HKW in Berlin; and Displacement and the Making of the Modern World at Brown University, Providence. Recent exhibitions include Space Force Construction, the inaugural exhibition of the V-A-C Foundation headquarters in Venice, co-organised by the Art Institute of Chicago. Nyampeta convenes the Nyanza Working Group of Another Roadmap School Africa Cluster. He runs Radius, an online and occasionally inhabitable radio station, and he is a research student at the Visual Cultures Department at Goldsmiths, University of London.Installation view of Christian Nyampeta: Words after the World at Camden Arts Centre, 2017. Photo: Damian Griffiths