The half Kenyan and South African philosopher and artist Gerola
Kolkobana visited the small but international biennale for contemporary
art in Reykjavik 20000 (ART; XL.Reykjavik 2000) In Kenya she's
a spiritual leader for a small artistic community, and her fundamentally
intention is to keep the african art (contemporary and traditional)
away from the international western art-production.
She was invited by the Icelandic artist and curator Olof Bjørnsdottir
who met Kolkobana on her tour around Africa, searching for different
culture/art history for her Television documentary "Africa,
the last survivors"
Gerola Kolkobane was very interested in visiting Iceland, she
told us that it was her first tour outside africa, and probably
the last. I remember she started her lecture with talking about
her expectation." It fell short off my expectations, and
the nature looks better on photos. The land is like the moon,
it's just one big difference, the people who lives her will soon
forget how to behave on this very, very special moon".
Kolkobana held an spectacular lecture about the local and national
art production, and how it slowly got caught by the internationally
contemporary art scene. (Before the lecture she informed that
she didn't want to held the lecture inside the gallery, because
she think it is dangerous to talk to members of art societys inside
rooms with money hanging on the walls)
Summary from the lecture:
Gerola Kolkobana talks: I think the situation for the Icelandic
artist are comparative to the situation in my homecountry Kenya
and generally all African art production.
The artistic ability in Icelandic artcomunities are totally different
from dozen of other western incompetent outsiders, and should
not be throw away into clammy artcontekts around the world.
I find i suitable to inform you about the importance surrounding
the fact that you have to protect your art from ending up looking
like exotic objects for the western art world. In case of the
worst,. your artistic divinity will remain as incompetent superficial-slack-falsificated
art, swallowed by retarded theorists. As an Icelandic foreigner
I guess you'r dreaming of walking around from gallery to gallery,
looking like a handy candy artist from nowhere,,,only because
you thought it was an obligation?
You have to protect your self from dangerous hostility wrapped
up in in superficial elements arriving by airplanes into your
history from arias outside your history.
Question from the audiences: Anna Gudmundsdottir ask: "In
one way we already are an important part of the global art-network
on Iceland, so what do you think about American art exhibiting
Answer from Kolkobana: The States...USA??? I have never heard
about that country..is it a country?
Hmm. I only know some hard working african people in USA. They
told me it wasn't a country with people. Only a big storehouse
with large walls and no doors. And inside they could see billions
of hundred years old gorillas hanging around with Alzheimer. I
really don't understand why the Icelandic continent should exhibit
monkeyart. Actually I find it very strange that your artistic
behavior is more close to/or similar with American monkeybisiness
than the vikings?!
Monkey-art is sold or given away to people with sweet or dirty
money. Then it is left in big houses looking like graveyards.
Our art community in Kenya (Kolber Kolkoba)don't want to show
our art it the western world at all. First off all because you
are not capable to learn from it, we want sell it, and we never
want to be treated like exotic design without knowing about it
our self. Western art will end up as bad memories in a big monkey
stomach. And all the glamorous effects will dive like angeldust
and cover your green artistic nature forever and ever.
Question from the audience: Olafur Eliasson ask: I'm wondering
if it's possible for me or other artist to exhibit in your country.
Answer from Kolkobana: Yes off course, you are heartly welcome.
But remember; We will eat you, and we will forget you. It's much
better if you came festively dressed, and cooked some exotic-exclusive-delicious-tasty
dinner for me and the rest of my group, Because then we can have
a taste of your soul, and then we might understand your purpose
with your visit much better. If your intentions are good, you
can stay, and if it's bad ,.. you can stay as well, but then you'll
feel our hunger badly. And you want find the food you need, because
the bananas in our trees will jump out of your hands when you
try to catch them.
I can speak with the vulcanos in my country, as well as you. And
now it's time to stop my conversation with your western humans
Pleas don't ask me any more questions, I'm not a monkey, and I'm
not words. And the only reason way I visit your country is: You
are the only people left in this world that still don't eat the
same food as the Gorillas doing monkeybussines, in all other directions
over the ocean from your continents limit. Maybe my visit came
to late?, I can smell some monkeybussines from your Icelandic
language when some of you open your moth. Anyway, thank you for
listening, and I hope some of my thoughts are understandable.