About: The Uninterrupted Song for the City
The project is a continuation of “The Improbable Memorial”, a fictitious monument on which the artist Sinzo Aanza has been working for two years. He draws on sound archives documenting musical, ritual practices from various regions in Central and West Africa. Selected from the collection of the Africa Museum in Tervuren, audio and video materials are the traces of practices and performances that have almost disappeared because they could not withstand urbanization or some of them were banned by colonial authorities. These archives form the starting point of the project.
Selected archives are compiled by artificial intelligence to be presented in an installation. They are then confronted with music ranging from Congo Square in New Orleans to Western classical music to contemporary compositions by musicians. The result is a symphony of synthesis and expansion, with local musicians individually interacting with it on site at the museum.
The project is a collaboration with the Rietberg Museum. The Rietberg Museum opens its archives and rooms to guerillaclassics. After a research phase in May 2023, the archives will be made accessible in an installation at the end of June, and linked with live performances by musicians with various backgrounds.
About: Sinzo Aanza
Sinzo Aanza a poet, playwright, and visual artist, was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1990. In 2015, he published his first novel, “Genealogy of a Banality.” Aanza’s literary works and visual art explore the exploitation of natural resources, as well as the radical nature of social, political, and identity constructs and their impact on perceptions of the world and history. These themes are central to his artistic expression.
guerillaclassics wants to foster a broader view of what, where and how classical musics are and could be. By disrupting habits and norms, guerillaclassics creates environments and open spaces in which diverse perspectives on classical musics worldwide can meet, clash and mingle..
The Participating Artists
Artists involved in The Uninterrupted Song for the City: Sinzo Aanza (creator & artistic direction), Hiromi Gut (creation), Lynhan-Balatbat-Helbock (curator), Samuel Baah Kortey (curatorial assistant), Andreas Brüll (sound creator, engineer), Philippe Kocher (composer, researcher), Jere Ikongio (artist, film-maker), Rokia Bamba (DJ), Eden Sekulović (Cellist), Valentine (Saxophonist), Vincent Glanzmann (Drums), Huguette Tolinga (Percussion), Vicko Tengwa (Guitar), Christophe Leloil (Trumpet), Vladimir Petrov (AI)
the journal - the uninterrupted song for the city
by Samuel Baah Kortey & Lynhan Balatbat-Helbock
Lynhan Balatbat-Helbock is co-executive managing director at S A V V Y Contemporary Berlin and is part of the participatory archive project Colonial Neighbours. She received her MA in Postcolonial Cultures and Global Policy at Goldsmiths University of London and moved to Berlin in 2013. In her work within the permanent collection of SAVVY Contemporary she looks for colonial traces that are manifested in our present.
Samuel Baah Kortey was born in Ghana and lives between Kumasi and Frankfurt. He is currently pursuing his MFA at the Department of Painting and Sculpture KNUST (Kumasi, Ghana) and is an exchange student in Städelschule, Frankfurt. The artist is a member of three collectives, blaxTARLINES, Commune6x3, and a co-founder of the Asafo Black Collective. He works with postcolonial histories and religious iconographies, and experiments with organic materials.
the importance of humanising an african sound archive
by Atiyyah Khan
Atiyyah Khan is an arts journalist, archivist, record collector and events curator from Johannesburg and based in Cape Town.
Since 2007, she has documented arts and culture and has been published in newspapers across South Africa. She was the 2010 Pulitzer Fellowship recipient for her masters studies at the University of Southern California.
Echoeing from the archive. on the politics of unarranging and remixing as a self-narrative act.
by Billy Fowo
Billy Fowo (1996, Cameroon) is a curator and writer based in Berlin.
Very much grounded in the idea of the Laboratory, for Billy, rethinking and stretching the idea of the exhibition as a format, forms an essential part of his research and curatorial approach. With points of interest in various fields and disciplines such as the sonic, linguistics and literature, Billy questions through his practice what is considered knowledge and the spaces in which we find knowledge. He is currently a curatorial candidate at the prestigious DeAppel program in Amsterdam.
a tale of forgotten songs and the abudance of the living body
by Lynhan Balatbat-Helbock
Lynhan Balatbat-Helbock is co-executive managing director at S A V V Y Contemporary Berlin and is part of the participatory archive project Colonial Neighbours. She received her MA in Postcolonial Cultures and Global Policy at Goldsmiths University of London and moved to Berlin in 2013. In her work within the permanent collection of SAVVY Contemporary she looks for colonial traces that are manifested in our present. The collaborative archive dedicates itself to discussing silenced histories and to the decanonization of the Western gaze through objects and the stories behind them. In close collaboration with artists, initiatives and activists, the archive is activated through hybrid forms of practice. She assisted the management for the documenta14 radio program – Every Time a Ear di Soun, SAVVY Funk in Berlin (June – July 2017) and supported the artist Bouchra Khalili with several projects and exhibitions (May 2015 – May 2016 / June 2021 -May 2022). She worked on a yearlong research project on Julius Eastman in a collaboration between SAVVY Contemporary and the Maerzmusik festival (Berliner Festspiele, March) and co-curated the exhibition program HERE HISTORY BEGAN. TRACING THE RE/VERBERATIONS OF HALIM EL-DABH (2017–2018/2020-2021). In 2018 she produced Agnieszka Polska ś commission for the Germany’s National Gallery Prize show in the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin (September 2018-March 2019). Lately she curated the yearlong project Monumental Shadows – Rethinking Heritage, a participatory project in public space knocking colonial figures off their pedestal and shifting the shadows of past and present. This year she is curating Wer Wir Sind in the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn as well as this years´edition of the Lantz´sche Skulpturenpark in Düsseldorf.