February - March 2020 — Visual Arts
Dunja Herzog lives and works between Lagos, Berlin and Basel. Her work is influenced by the effects of colonial history on personal narratives, bodies and materials, which come together in mindful and poetic installations. In February – March 2020 she will spend time in Lusaka, Zambia on a research trip to develop possible future collaborations with partners from the Copper Belt region. This trip arises from Dunja’s meeting Julia Taonga Kaseka from Modzi Arts in Lusaka, Patrick Mudekereza from WAZA in Lubumbashi and George Mahashe from South Africa in November 2019 during the second Lagos Biennial. Dunja shares a common interest in the topic of copper with these artists, and this Lusaka trip is intended as the starting point for a long-term project in collaboration with Julia, Patrick and George.
The artists have been speaking and exchanging information about the copper trade, and now plan to begin working in a more concrete way. While in Lusaka, Dunja and Julia will research the role of copper in the traditional community and investigate its apparent spiritual value.
Since 2015 Dunja’s practice has been investigating bronze casting in West Africa and the history of the copper trade since the 15th century. In 2018 she launched the conceptual jewellery line Red Gold Import Export, in parallel with an exhibition at the Kunstverein in Göttingen with works focused on the copper mining in Germany, the history of the production of Manillas (bracelet-like money made out of copper and used in the slave trade) and a Benin-Head from the collection of the Göttingen University.
Through a 2018 conference at the United Nation Research Institute for Social Development in Geneva called Life Along the Copper Value Chain: The Swiss Commodity Trading Hub and its Impact in the Global South, Dunja has established networks with research communities and critical voices in Switzerland concerned with mining in Zambia. During her trip she plans to connect with NGOs and local activists critical of multinational mining in the region.
Dunja has had solo shows at Kunstverein Göttingen, 1646, The Hague, NL; New Bretagne/Belle Air, Essen, DE; Piano Mobile, Geneva, CH; Istituto Svizzero, Milan, IT. She also participated in group shows at Swiss Art Award, Basel, CH; Lagos Biennale, NG; Blok Art Space, Istanbul, TR; MAXXI Museum, Rome, IT; Kunsthalle Basel, CH.