O tempo viajou pelo céu como uma flecha

[ Time sought through the sky like an arrow ]

Curatorial text by Tila Likunzi
In my hands
From past and future
I’ll grab two stones
And run with them.
Even in the lightest breeze I’ll fly,
Summon a wind, to come
And wipe out every trace
And I’ll sit like an orphan
By the roadside, mourning
My two stones.

— Abdulkareem Kasid

The present is in constant dialogue with the subjects and objects of the past. The past cannot be reversed, but can be understood in its various dimensions. ‘Just as there is no single important part of the past, there is no single important version of the past’.

Producing different forms of knowledge about the past and discussing its conservation, recon-
struction or preservation depends on the scale at which we wish to imagine, interpret or rein-
terpret it. When we are freed from the notion that the past can exist independently of the present – because it is ‘past’ –, we unleash an ontological shift – from generalized detachment to localized engagement with this past, becom-
ing aware that the ‘intimacies between the human mind and the material world are a con-
stant recursive process’, with characteristics unique to the spaces and time(s) in which they occur. Technological, social and political changes have altered the way we relate to our environments, the objects that compose it and the very concept of history. When we peel off the layers of bygone cultural development and interaction, we recognize that the past may have been as subtle and dynamic as the present, requiring new historiographies.

Okufeti(ka) seeks to show how the nuances
of the past can be reimagined in a poetic way. Drawings, stamps, prints, color studies and installations using brass, copper, charcoal, clay, wax, raffia, horns, feathers and sound echo
the language, memory, myth, and cultural and social practices of an ancestral Ovimbundu society, in the central highlands of Angola, as a place both real and imagined, asking us to look back with a critical eye at the history of material cultures as we think we know them.

Unearthing the modern construction of archaeological narratives on African societies before the impact of the transatlantic slave trade and European colonial expansion,
the artist Iris Buchholz Chocolate aspires to
a reconstitution, or indeed a restitution, of a history lost or even unknown, questioning hegemonic structures of looking, learning and feeling history, challenging our capacity to renegotiate our perception of the past in order to make sense of our lives.