Curator: Bruno Marchand
Samson Kambalu's first exhibition in Portugal brings us his most recognised pieces. In Permanent Strike the guiding thread is the life story of Clement Kadalie, the founder of the first trade union of black workers in South Africa. More than being a portrait of this important figure in the struggle against colonialism and segregationist policies, Kadalie’s presence here will serve the purpose of establishing a guiding thread for discovering the radical politics that informs all of Kambalu’s work, filled with such concepts as the gift, game playing, dissidence, transgression and mask.
Samson Kambalu is a Malawian artist, born in 1975, who has been living in the United Kingdom since the early 2000s. His work earned him international prominence when it was included in the main exhibition of the Venice Biennale, in 2015. On this occasion, Kambalu presented a set of his own Nyau films: small black-and-white clips, without any sound, which capture performances that he himself made in different places, all around the world. In a deliberate mixture of the influences of the ancestral African culture and the situationist movement, Kambalu’s films, as well as the rest of his artistic production, build a bridge between these two worlds – African and western – through a gaze that seeks to use sophisticated humour and irony to deconstruct some of the myths and some of the most ingrained pretensions of our contemporary artistic and intellectual activity.