Those who are dead are not ever gone
On the Maintenance of Supremacy, the Ethnological Museum and the Intricacies of the Humboldt Forum
By Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung
Archive Books 2019
The institution of the ethnological museum or world museum seems to be in the midst of a serious crisis of choking. The delicacies that most of these museums have acquired, which is to say co-opted, which is to say ingested, seem to have collectively missed the track to the oesophagus and got stuck in the respiratory tract. They have been stuck there for as long as the history of mass collections, acquisitions and looting, for as long as the ruthless and ongoing extraction of cultural property has occurred in the former colonies outside of Europe.
A twelve-act essay on the maintenance of supremacy, the ethnological Museum and the intricacies of the Humboldt Forum.
First published in South as a State of Mind, summer/fall 2018, tenth issue: www.southasastateofmind.com.
Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, PhD (born in 1977 in Yaoundé, Cameroon), is an independent curator, author and biotechnologist. He is founder and artistic director of SAVVY Contemporary Berlin and editor-in-chief of SAVVY Journal for critical texts on contemporary African art. He was curator-at-large for documenta 14 in Athens and Kassel 2017, artistic director of the 12th Rencontres de Bamako 2019, a biennale for African photography in Mali, as well as guest curator of the 2018 Dak’Art Biennale in Senegal. Together with the Miracle Workers Collective, he curated the Finland Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2019, and is artistic director of Sonsbeek 2020-2024, a quadrennial contemporary art exhibition in Arnhem, the Netherlands. He was guest professor in curatorial studies and sound art at the Städelschule in Frankfurt, and is the recipient of the first OCAD University International Curators Residency fellowship in Toronto in 2020.
Publishing Archive Books
Design Archive Appendix
2019 English, German, French
Price 10 EUR
Available At SAVVY Contemporary (cash only) or worldwide via the publisher's website archivebooks.org