Pavilion announces Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc An Italian Film (Africa Addio)

Pavilion presents Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc An Italian Film (Africa Addio), on view 5 October–21 December 2012.

In the engine house of a former pin factory in Leeds, French artist Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc presents a new film and installation.

Abonnenc’s new work confronts the contemporary and historic exploitation of copper in the Katanga region of Congo, a region that has been repeatedly ravaged since its colonization by Belgian King Leopold II in the nineteenth century. Leopold first looted small copper crosses, forms of currency made by a sect known as the ‘copper eaters,’ that were shipped to Europe for industrial use. As a way of underlining the violence of the colonial act and its continuing contemporary enactment in the post-industrial context, Abonnenc has subjected several copper crosses, bought from private collectors, to a process of recasting with the help of a local foundry.

The resulting film is the first part of a wider body of work that takes Jacopetti and Prosperi’s notorious 1960 film Africa Addio as a starting point to discuss the imperial nostalgia embodied, not only by this film, but also by particular instances of modern art.

An Italian Film (Africa Addio) is showing concurrently as part of the contemporary art biennial Les Ateliers de Rennes, from 15 September–9 December 2012.

Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc uses drawings, installations, photographs, interviews and archives to counter collective amnesia and erasure of experiences and traumas. In 2011 he was commissioned by Gasworks to produce Foreword to Guns for Banta, which uses the films of pioneering filmmaker Sarah Maldoror as a catalyst to question whether the spirit of liberation movements of 60s Africa can be reactivated.

Tower Works Engine House
Globe Road, Leeds, LS11 5QG

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