Artist in Residency 2019

Photo: Raisa Galofre
Photo: Raisa Galofre

We are honoured to welcome and host the artist Hervé Yamguen at SAVVY Contemporary for a residency of three months within our EU-wide collaboration 4Cs: From Conflict to Conviviality through Creativity and Culture.

Hervé is using the quiet time of the residency to focus on research and reflection around his work concerned with life and its coexistences and collaborations, its human and more-than-human relationships. Given the political situation in Cameroon and his role as an active community worker, such deep, undisturbed concentration is currently difficult to practice in his hometown Douala. In Douala he has been engaging in community work as member of the collective Cercle Kapsiki, experimenting new practices of cohabitation and coexistence in dialogue with other artists and people from the district of New Bell, where he has been the animator of workshops, laboratories and a series of artists in residence. 

We are looking forward to reflect further with him on issues of hospitality and hostipitality. In Berlin, he is studying works of Michel Serres and Kenneth White to understand better the evolution of humanity from its beginnings to the technological age of our now, including the possibilites of travel to change surrounding landscapes and see different parts of the world. How are these developments affecting the place of the human in an ecosystem? What does this mean for the political but also for the poetic. How does capitalism play into this? Given the emerging egoism of the individual, humans separate their communities and even more from their original bond with nature.

In the works, that Hervé produces during his recidency, he is dealing with these interrupted cycles and connections. Therefore, he is workin on a series of drawings and poems as well as on an installation work, that he calls „Cabin d’histoire“. Here, the house can be understood as a metaphor. We share this world like a house. If one has a problem, everyone has. This work will be shown at our exhibition SOIL IS AN INSCRIBED BODY. ON SOVEREIGNTY, AGROPOETICS AND STRUGGLES FOR LIBERATIONS.

Hervé YAMGUEN was born in 1971 in Douala (Cameroon) where he lives and works. His artistic practice is transdisciplinary between writing and visual arts; he is a poet, sculptor, painter, and performer. He made forays into photography and live performance (he has mostly performed in the public space).

For Hervé, being an artist is a way of existing in the world, closely associated with spirituality. His rich imagination makes cultural, personal, and social memory visible in his own artistic works. Inducted into the village of his father, he returns to the codes of rituals and customs, while maintaining his posture as a contemporary artist. He is resolutely engaged in artistic and social activities in his country.

Since the 1990s he has been publishing editions and showing his artistic work in exhibitions and in public space in different countries of the world, for example Ivory Coast, Abidjan, France and Germany.