Animation: Tugçe Evirgen Özmen. Video: courtesy of the artist.

October 20, 2022
Jota Mombaça
October 27, 2022–January 28, 2023
Opening reception: October 27, 5–7pm
Paris and San Francisco
USA and France
Hours: Wednesday–Saturday 12–5pm

in the absence of place
the planet’s foreigner exits any sense of geography
locality is lost, not here
nor there. stuck in movement (in the tide)
–Jota Mombaça, excerpt from what is coming for you is only dawn (2022)

KADIST San Francisco presents Jota Mombaça: THE SINKING SHIP/PROSPERITY, the interdisciplinary artist’s first solo exhibition in the US, a large-scale sculptural installation accompanied by sound and video works exploring how water behaves and “the radicality of sinking.” This body of work by the Brazilian-born and Amsterdam and Lisbon-based Jota Mombaça carries on and emerges from a cycle of performances focused on elemental ways of sensing, that began earlier this year at the future site of the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo on the island of San Giacomo in Venice, Italy; the International Artists Studio Program in Stockholm, Sweden; and de Appel Amsterdam in The Netherlands, that enmesh materiality and performativity with social and political histories of the waterways that form around those localities.

Jota Mombaça’s practice entwines drawing and writing as well as installation, performance, sculpture, sound, and video. This fluid approach flows from their research, which engages the continuing traumas of the Transatlantic slave trade and the escalating impact of the climate crisis, traversing such topics as global water transport, displacement, water control systems, queer mourning, and time travel. 

For THE SINKING SHIP/PROSPERITY, Jota Mombaça presents a group of sculptures made from cotton and linen fabrics that have been submerged in bodies of water at or near each of the performance sites—The Venetian Lagoon, an Amsterdam canal, as well as new commissions produced in the San Francisco Bay Area’s San Pablo Bay, San Francisco Bay, and the Pacific Ocean. These fabric sculptures, titled Ghost 0, Ghost 2, and Ghost 1 (all 2022) appear to float through the gallery, supported by steel armature resembling whale rib bones. Referring to and holding space for the artist’s recent performance works, Mombaça transforms the gallery into “a wordless spectral realm” and a “place of letting go.” As an exhibition that resonates with the changing dynamics of water, a fourth fabric sculpture, Ghost 4(b), and two newly commissioned video works will be unveiled during the course of the exhibition.

Jota Mombaça: THE SINKING SHIP/PROSPERITY considers both the “climates” surrounding the artist’s recent performances and the unfolding of their material connections. The sway of Jota Mombaça’s actions and objects and the atmospheres they create continues a deep practice of radical transfeminist activism, asking what we might learn about decolonialism and climate justice by listening to the water.

A monthly public program series called Currents animates Jota Mombaça’s exhibition, with a conversation between the artist and critic and philosopher Darla Migan; a performance for the debut of waterwill (2022), a video drawn from footage of the sculptures being sunk and resurfaced that will be projected onto Ghost 0, produced in collaboration with Anti Ribeiro and Darwin Marinho; and the release of a limited-edition publication of the artist’s drawings and poems. 

Current 1: Conversation with Jota Mombaça and Darla Migan, November 14, 2022

Current 2: Performance by Jota Mombaça and Debut of waterwill (2022), December 8, 2022

Current 3: Artist publication release, January 12, 2023

October 20, 2022

Thank you for your RSVP.

KADIST will be in touch.


e-flux announcements are emailed press releases for art exhibitions from all over the world.

Agenda delivers news from galleries, art spaces, and publications, while Criticism publishes reviews of exhibitions and books.

Architecture announcements cover current architecture and design projects, symposia, exhibitions, and publications from all over the world.

Film announcements are newsletters about screenings, film festivals, and exhibitions of moving image.

Education announces academic employment opportunities, calls for applications, symposia, publications, exhibitions, and educational programs.

Sign up to receive information about events organized by e-flux at e-flux Screening Room, Bar Laika, or elsewhere.

I have read e-flux’s privacy policy and agree that e-flux may send me announcements to the email address entered above and that my data will be processed for this purpose in accordance with e-flux’s privacy policy*

Thank you for your interest in e-flux. Check your inbox to confirm your subscription.