Jean Katambayi Mukendi
Jean Katambayi has developed an artistic practice that borders to electro-technique, biosciences, physics and other natural sciences and technology. His works are a fictively real narration of energy flows that are contained in our spiritual and physical spaces. In his drawings, collages, installations with found electronic materials, card board papers, mathematical and electro-technical formulae, Katambayi constructs machines, i.e. universes that from a far seem to embody the potential of resolving all the world’s problems.
The work Ecoson, which is a part of An Age of Our Own Making, is an intersection between electrical technology and nature as entities that make up and at the same time are products of our ecosystem. Ecoson comprises of twenty jars filled with organic and decayable materials like perishable food stuffs, which are connected to pipes and electrical son to make up his eco-conductors. These eco-conductors have the potential of producing electricity for the installation.
The backdrop of the installation is a distorted world map from which lights and sounds emanate.
Ecoson points at alternative possibilities of thinking energy creation and flow in an age of ever rising organic waste. It also points at the fact that if one really intends to save the planet then one will have to think beyond the ordinary, as well as explore the seemingly impossible.
What appears to be so far-fetched is indeed at the core of Katambayi’s work. His usage of electric boards points to the usage of copper, coltan and other natural resources extracted from the Congo that are the core elements that make up most of our technological devices today. But the electrical circuits Katambayi constructs also go a long way to explain how organisms and societies function.
Jean Katambayi, b. 1974, lives and works in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo. Katambayi’s works have been exhibited in the Havana Biennial, 2015; Full House: 100 artists. AEROPLASTICS contemporary, Brussels (BE), 2014; Dak’Art Biennial, 11ème Biennale de l’Art Africain Contemporain, Dakar (SN), 2014; Digitale Afrique, Planète Emergences, Marseille (F), 2013; Périfériks, CAN – Centre d’Art Neuchâtel, Neuchâtel (CH), 2012 etc.
Katambayi was awarded the ‘Prix de la Découverte’ of the Dak’art 2010 Biennale by Fondation Blachère.