February 6, 2013 - Bielefelder Kunstverein - Maryam Jafri and Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc
February 6, 2013

Maryam Jafri and Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc

Maryam Jafri, Grid #6: Ramoji Film City, Software Office Film Set (detail), 2012. Archival ink jet print, 20 x 30 cm. Courtesy of Maryam Jafri.

Maryam Jafri and Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc

Maryam Jafri

Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc

9 February–28 April 2013
Opening: Friday, 8 February, 7pm

Bielefelder Kunstverein
im Waldhof 
Welle 61
D-33602 Bielefeld


From February 9 to April 28, the Bielefelder Kunstverein is presenting two solo exhibitions by Maryam Jafri and Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc. Both artists investigate in the historical development of globalization and its current impact on our society.

Maryam Jafri
Maryam Jafri works primarily with the media of video, photography, text and performance. She takes a research-based approach to her work that frequently results in extensive video and photo installations. In these works, Jafri combines specific temporal and cultural zones. In the process, she uses various narrative forms and consciously fictionalises documentary archive material. 

Maryam Jafri is showing two current works from the last couple of years, Global Slum (2012) and Avalon (2011), on the Kunstverein’s ground floor. Alongside them, the artist is presenting a new series of photographic works, which she has developed especially for the exhibition at the Bielefelder Kunstverein. The three-part group of works, “Getty vs. Ghana”, “Corbis vs. Mozambique”, “Getty vs. Kenya vs. Corbis” (2012) links to questions about the role of images already raised in Jafri’s ongoing project, “Independence Day 1936–1967″ (since 2009). The new series contrasts with the earlier work by shifting the economic value of these photographs onto centre stage. In this work combining photos and texts, Jafri does not investigate the techniques of representation but instead investigates the cultural value in the histories of how these states develop.

Maryam Jafri, born in 1972 in Pakistan, lives and works in Copenhagen and New York. The artist’s most recent solo exhibitions have appeared at the Museet for Samtidskunst (Roskilde, Denmark), the exhibition space Beirut (Cairo, Egypt) and the CAAC Sevilla (all 2012). Following her exhibition at the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (2006), the Bielefelder Kunstverein is organising Jafri’s second solo exhibition in Germany.

Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc
In his works, Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc researches into the history of colonial development, its effects on cultural identity and global contexts. Amongst others, he is very concerned to engage with film history and the decolonisation of African states in the 1960s. In all his videos, photographs, drawings, as well as through archival material, he investigates the causes of collective amnesia. 

The exhibition on the Kunstverein’s first floor is presenting three groups of works in all. Among them, numerous new works are on view. The artist starts out from various objects and materials and makes connections between the three continents, Africa, South America and Europe. Abonnenc’s latest film, An Italian film (Africa Addio). First part: copper (2012), confronts viewers with the problematic extraction of copper in Katanga province in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The second group of works originates with a ring originally belonging to Abonnenc’s great grandfather from French Guyana. The third component of the exhibition is finally a collection (Inventaire des objets africain de la collection Émile Abonnenc, 1931/1933, Moyen Ogoué, Gabon), which is owned by Abonnenc’s family and has been arranged by the artist into indexical photo displays.

Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc, born in 1977 in French Guyana, lives and works in Paris. In 2012, two institutions, the Serralves Foundation (Porto, Portugal) and the Pavilion (Leeds, UK), have mounted solo exhibitions for the artist. The exhibition at the Bielefelder Kunstverein is Abonnencs’s first solo exhibition in Germany.

Exhibition support
The exhibition of Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc is kindly supported by the Institut français Deutschland and realized in cooperation with the French Ministry for Culture and Communication / DGCA

To mark the exhibitions, a 28-page brochure will be published (German/English). 

Further exhibitions in 2013
The New Restraint
Architecture in Straitened Circumstances
May 4–July 21, 2013

Museum Off Museums 
September 7, 2013–January 26, 2014

For press requests, please send us an email via kontakt [​at​] bielefelder-kunstverein.de or call us on T +49-521-17 88 06. High-resolution press images can be downloaded from our website.

Maryam Jafri and Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc at Bielefelder Kunstverein
Bielefelder Kunstverein
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