14 Setembro 2023 - 02 Dezembro 2023
Center for Contemporary Art Berlin /
Jota Mombaça, A certain Death / A Swamp, Installation views, CCA Berlin, 2023. Photos: Diana Pfammatter/CCA Berlin
Center for Contemporary Art Berlin (CCA Berlin) presents Jota Mombaça: A certain Death / The Swamp until December 2.
Apocalyptic ruptures haunt. Traces of their occurrence linger in the exhausted soil of Jamaican sugar plantations; along the oceanic tracks of the Middle Passage onto the inland waterways of Northern America; on the Senegalese shores of the Island of Gorée and much further up, among the abandoned machinery of a zinc mine southeast of Algiers: atop the roof tiles of a razed off ancestral Palestinian home in Jaffa; as radioactive particles hovering over Hiroshima, towards the Maralinga Test Site in the remote western areas of South Australia. Wherever colonial modernity and its capitalist modes of production and appropriation disembarked—which is to say, everywhere—ruptures soon unfolded at scales both imperceptible and striking, settling into a permanent crisis of planetary life itself.
Jota Mombaça is also haunted by the apocalypse. A certain Death / The Swamp, the artist’s exhibition at CCA Berlin – Center for Contemporary Arts, was conceived, at first, through extensive conversations around the curious topography of Berlin, said to be entirely built atop drained wetlands. From swamp to city, a teleology of progress, a survival scheme, emerges. Looking at the devastating flash floods of 2021 that affected parts of Belgium, Germany and surrounding countries, Mombaça then conjures up a reversal—what of cities that again turn into swamps, a form of dissolution fascists went in terror of (‘Drenare la palude!’, once howled a determined Benito Mussolini) throughout the twentieth century? From Berlin’s locality, we shift our gaze towards a planetary predicament: that of atmospheric phenomena continuously threatening terminal collapse across disparate geographies. until the last morning (2023), a newly commissioned video work, was shot among the mangroves and marshlands of Pará, in the Brazilian Amazon. Covering about 700,000 hectares, these mangroves and marshlands depend on a constant influx of fresh water from rainfall and from the Guajará Bay rivers and streams.
Moving from Berlin to the Brazilian Amazon and then back again, as bodies of water would flow within the bed and banks of a channel, Mombaça is attempting to capture a total climate.
Read the full text of Edwin Nasr about the exhibition here.
(Entrance via Frobenstraße)
Opening hours: Wed–Sat, 11:00–18:00