September 2019

Christian Nyampeta: Words after the World

Mercurial States

Artist Christian Nyampeta works across art, design, and theory “in search of a new narrative of how to live together.” [1]1
Christian Nyampeta, “A Flower Garden of All Kinds of Loveliness Without Sorrow,” Contour 9, Mechelen, 2019.
In this brief video, he reflects on his solo exhibition “Words after the World,” which was presented at the Camden Arts Centre, London (September 29, 2017–January 14, 2018), following an extended period of working on-site. During this time, the artist initiated a “scriptorium,” a working group tasked with translating historical Francophone texts by African philosophers. This collective structure informed the script for Words after the World, a short film about a writer attempting to draft a novel at a time when the use of existing words is restricted by copyright. As becomes evident in this interview, Nyampeta often works through collaborative and cooperative processes, with the afterlife of these dialogues taking several forms, including artworks, translations, publications, social structures, and radio programs, among others. The film was produced by Jared Schiller for Camden Arts Centre on the occasion of Nyampeta’s exhibition.

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