Positive-Negative (morphology)

A hole is dug in the ground next to Välkommaskolan and the soil is brought inside the building. The visitors of the exhibition are invited to bring the soil back to the pit, one bucket at a time. Through participation, involvement and direct physical contact, artist Kapwani Kiwanga attempts to highlight the act of giving and giving back. Positive-Negative (morphology) will leave behind a scar-like trace and remind of the exchange that has taken place during the last months of Välkommaskolan in Malmberget.

About Positive-Negative (morphology)

Positive-Negative (morphology), 2018/2020, A hole in the ground measuring, 30 x 50 x 460 cm, and its soil contents.

Implements, 2018/2020. Tools made out of ceramics with ash-based glaze, bucket for ash with handles in ceramic, ash-based glaze.

Fire & Fallow, 2018/2020. Ritual. Ceramic tiles with ash-based glaze.

A hole has been dug on the grounds of Välkommaskolan and its contents transferred into the building. Visitors to the exhibition are then encouraged to carry the soil back to the hole, one bucket at a time. Through participation, commitment and direct physical contact with the work, Kapwani Kiwanga emphasises the act of giving and giving back as opposed to the dominant and inherited acts of taking away and taking advantage of. In addition to the gaping pit that is a result of the mining activity, Kiwanga’s intervention will leave behind another scar-like trace on the grounds as a testimony to what was extracted in Välkommaskolan’s last months in Malmberget.

As a preliminary context for her installation, Kiwanga has invited a group of local cultural practitioners to meet around a fire in the school yard and exchange knowledge and ideas about decolonisation and property in relation to the extraction of natural resources. The gathering encourages active listening, openness and sharing and stresses the crucial role of storytelling in the transfer of knowledge. The ash from the fire becomes part of the glaze that will cover the ceramic objects that visitors use to carry the soil from the inside the school back to the hole. The conversations that were had around the fire will be symbolically present each time the objects are used.

About Kapwani Kiwanga

Kapwani Kiwanga (b. 1978, Hamilton) is an artist based in Paris. Her practice deals with complex issues around historical and ongoing colonial processes and their aftermath.

Find the artwork

Malmberget, Sverige