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Sunsum in Mind, Body & Spirit

March 28 - Sept 13, 2020 
Kunstverein Braunschweig
The Faculty of Sensing, Thinking With, Through and by Anton Wilhelm Amo.  
Dec. 4, 2020  - Feb. 2, 2021 
Savvy Contemporary, The Laboratory of Form -Ideas, Berlin, Germany
The Faculty of Sensing, Thinking With, Through and by Anton Wilhelm Amo.  

Sunsum, in Spirit, 2020
HD Video, 09:53 min
Samples: May Ayim “Blues in Black and White” in Maria Binder “Hope in My Heart – The May Ayim Story” Film Trailer; Louis Henderson “The Sea is History” Soundtrack; Michelle Parkerson “A Litany For Survival – the Life and Work of Audre Lorde” Film Trailer; Ella Andall “Yemaya (Great Divine Mother of the Orisas)”; Bessie Jones “Beggin’ the Blues”; Humboldt Universität Berlin Lautarchiv “Duala (Kamerun), Gesang – LA 1334”, “Baule (Elfenbeinküste), Flöte – PK 1596/1”

Sunsum, in Body, 2020
Archival pigment, synthetic hair, yarn, paper, leather thread, acrylic medium on handmade mulberry paper – bound onto wooden frame
21,5 × 33 × 26 cm

Sunsum, in Mind #1 + Sunsum, in Mind #2, 2020
HD Video, archival pigment, human hair, synthetic hair, sage, cowrie shells, acrylic medium on 100% Brazilian banana tree stem paper
each 50 × 140 cm

Water is the connecting element that runs through the works of Adama Delphine Fawundu. The artist is interested in the nexus of social movements and collective tendencies and how these are mirrored in the motif of water. With a view to and awareness of transhistorical connections, a range of temporalities are connected: past, present, and future all coincide within Fawundu’s artistic vision. As a locus of memory, the sea narrates generations of its own stories – and it is here that Derek Walcott’s well-known poem The Sea is History, a source of inspiration to Fawundu alongside texts by Anton Wilhelm Amo, offers many forms of explicit connection.


For her contribution to the exhibition, the artist pursued and filmed along Braunschweig’s waterways. The resulting video work uses collage-like methods to bring together a range of images from various river points. References include poets and activists May Ayim and Audre Lorde, whose years in Berlin in turn inspired Ayim. In her expansive installation, Fawundu combines collages of moving image material together with photographs, with new image levels being added via superimposed projections. Here too, the sea is projected as a place that mediates sinking and (ritual) healing. Finally, various (narrative) threads coalesce into a handmade book. Page by page, recurring symbols from the artist’s work – such as the sea, natural and artificial hair, roots and routes – are closely interwoven. Collage as an artistic medium is also prominent in the room-filling soundtrack, overlaying the other works from the starting point of the large projection.

Samples such as Bessie Jones’s Beggin’ the Blues or Ella Andall’s Yemaya are mixed with sonic artifacts from Humboldt University of Berlin’s sound archives. As a practice of merging distinct sound recordings, sampling is also used skilfully by the artist in the context of the emergence of (new) language and thus deployed to develop her own: “The ‘new language’ symbolizes life, a sense of freedom, living rather than just surviving within the complexities of systematic oppression. This is what the body does intuitively – the ‘body’ never truly dies, it transforms.” (Adama Delphine Fawundu)

Sunsum in Spirit video excerpt.
Adama Delphine Fawundu | The Faculty of Sensing at SAVVY Contemporary 2020
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