Josèfa Ntjam's Latest Work Presents a Digital World Inspired by African Mythologies
Intertwining mythical water narratives, historic resistance groups and more.
Multidisciplinary artist Josèfa Ntjam is showcasing her latest work titled “Underground Resistance — Living Memories“ at the Soho Photography Quarter, a new public cultural space in the surroundings of the Photographer’s Gallery in London. The artist constitutes the second commission of OpenSpace, an Augmented Reality (AR) initiative co-curated with Zaiba Jabbar (HERVISIONS) and developed by Oliver Ellmers.
Ntjam uses art as a means to spotlight mythical water narratives, historic resistance groups and influential black digital artists, which are more than often disregarded. The exhibition, showcased at street-level, includes a series of large photomontages and augmented reality artworks that take viewers to a lively digital world containing a range of fluid, aquatic creatures and mythological symbols that suggest forms of resistance to the flooded times to come.
Visitors can access a virtual space through a custom phone app that combines historical events, scientific methodologies and popular digital ecosystems. The interactive experience includes references to Black musicians, including Sun Ra, Drexciya and Underground Resistance, photographs from the Black Panther Party, representations of Mami Wata and the anime franchise Pokémon, dissolving the separation between past and modern culture.
“It is in the blackness of abysses that I discovered how to express myself. From the dormant darkness to the off-center lights of my invertebrate friends. I take the plunge, whirring from bass to bass, the Drecxyian people accompanying me,” reads a poem by the artist in a bid to bring a focus on Black struggles and to speculate hope with new potential worlds.
“Underground Resistance — Living memories“ is on at the Soho Photography Quarter in London until November 30. Take a look at some of Ntjam’s in the gallery above.