Os Sonhos do Embondeiro
by Suzana Sousa

The exhibition “Dreams of the Baobab” by
the artist Iris Buchholz Chocolate, reflects her experience and daily life in Luanda through various historical and cultural symbols, such as the Baobab. Moreover, it views contemporary Angola as a result of events, experiences and styles of local life. Memory is an essential aspect of the works presented here. Iris Chocolate explores the Angolan collective memory, anal-
yses several of its symbols in depth, and pro-
poses new readings of events that we have come to overlook. The artist reflects on suffering, the ability of the Angolan people to overcome it and the way diverse cultures are absorbed among them. Appropriation processes and movements of the diaspora are some of the themes explored in her works.

Using different media and working closely
with local artisans, the primary reference of Iris Chocolate is her questioning of the local culture. At the same time, she develops a poetic narra-
tive that incorporates different times and their construction in terms of the collective memory. From the metaphor of the journey that evokes slavery and the transatlantic slave trade, to Angola’s political and ideological connections to the former GDR (German Democratic Republic), or to dance as a connection to tradition and history through Sona designs, the rhythm and footprints of the past and of future experiences are ever present.

In this exhibition, Iris Chocolate, recognizing her outsider-perspective, reinterprets different symbols within contemporary Angolan history. Using installations and video/performance,
the artist develops a personal archaeology of Angolan history within a universal perspective: because repressive systems like colonialism leave no one indifferent or neutral, in the way that war and the memory of it can only be understood by our humanity. This exhibition
is marked by the sound of the heart beating, marking out time and humanity.