multimedia

Kitchen Conversations with Maja ∀. Ngom a Polish-Senegalese artist currently based in London

This episode of Kitchen Conversations features Maja ∀. Ngom – a Polish-Senegalese artist currently based in London. Maja’s multidisciplinary practice encompasses photography, installation, video, text and sculpture. She graduated from Photography at Royal College of Art in London (2015) and Modern Languages at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan (2005). Through her unique experience of coming from an intergenerational and multi-ethnic family, Maja explores issues of identity in the context of belonging and displacement. The visual and text based work she creates, draws on feminist literature and phenomenological thought with inspirations coming from thinkers like Naomi Zack, Linda Martin Alcoff, Tina Fernandes Bott and Grada Kilomba.

The podcast conversation circulated around Maja’s installation ‘The Sweet Taste of Otherness’. The first part of the work was published in Obieg magazine back in 2019. A year after the piece developed into a performative reading and was presented to the public as part of Recovery group show hosted by Chalton Gallery in London. Finally in 2020 ‘The Sweet Taste of Otherness’  took shape of a mixed media installation and was exhibited in Biennale Zielona Góra

Maja ∀. Ngom, The Sweet Taste of Otherness [III] Installation view
Maja ∀. Ngom, The Sweet Taste of Otherness [III] Installation view

By using various objects and plants such as asphalt, chocolate and bamboo, the artist opens a conversation about various racial slurs actively used in the Polish language to call out people of black colour. By entering the exhibition the viewer is confronted with loads of visual and sensual stimulus – intense UV light, nauseating smell of chocolate. At first glance a ‘nice’ exhibition room, quickly changes into a space with a penetrating feeling of discomfort. “It conveys this experience of feeling different and being black in Poland. You can not run away from that. Even if it’s ok for some time, it will always come back and it will always resurface in some form”  – explains the artist. 

* This podcast is produced by artist Patrycja Rozwora (since May 2020). If you enjoy the content you can support it with a monthly donation of your choice via patreon.com/kitchenconversations.

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