Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung | Apoptotic Archive


Apoptotic Archive
Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung

After the Archive? hosts Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung.

“The fundamental questions are: Who has the right to memory? Which must be understood as who has the right to govern memory, to choose what is to become public memory and how should it become? Public because the Greek etymology of archive, arkheia and arkhē mean ‘public records’ and ‘government’, respectively. Who has the right to record and be recorded? That is, who has the right to be in public memory, how and in what way does one appear, as in become existent in that space of public memory? If then, how much and for how long? Which is to say how can one imagine the non-immortality, the non-infinity, the non-totality or non-totalitarianism of the archive? How can one re-imagine an archive not as ‘a collection of historical documents or records providing information about a place, institution or group of people’ but a) as a collection of non-localised individual records and memories, and b) other carriers of the archive for example; the embodied, the streets, the sonic?”

Reflecting through three archival structures – SAVVY Contemporary’s Colonial Neighbours, the street as archive and somatic archives – Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung will expound on what he has called the apoptotic archive. The concept of the Apoptotic Archive takes its cue from apoptosis in biology, which is the death of cells that occurs as a normal and controlled part of an organism’s growth or development. With this notion Ndikung would like to imagine the mortal, the finite, the limited and non-totalitarianism archive that sustains itself through many small deaths, through its porosity and permeability and through its lack of ambition to live forever.

About Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung:

Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung (born in 1977 in Yaoundé, Cameroon), is an independent curator, author and biotechnologist. He is the founder and artistic director of SAVVY Contemporary Berlin. He was curator-at-large for documenta 14 in Athens and Kassel and guest curator of the 2018 Dak’Art Biennale in Senegal. Together with the Miracle Workers Collective, he is the curator of the Finland Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2019. He is currently a guest professor in curatorial studies and sound art at the Städelschule in Frankfurt; artistic director of the 12th Rencontres de Bamako, a biennale for African photography, 2019; as well as artistic director of Sonsbeek 2020, a quadrennial contemporary art exhibition in Arnhem, the Netherlands.