About the work
In this video, the artist Samson Kambalu is seen walking against the flow of visitors by the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. It was filmed during a research fellowship at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African Art. Lincoln is part of Kambalu’s series of Nyau Cinema – short, site-specific performance videos that engage with Situationist ideas, the Nyau philosophy of the Chewa tribe in Malawi for whom performance is a key part of life, and Kambalu’s memories of watching films as a child. The films document improvised, playful and slapstick actions performed by Kambalu in public places to encourage new, critical – but at the same time humorous – ways to look at the world.
The artist actively encourages online sharing of his work and has commented that the GIF-like quality of the Nyau Cinema films has led to them being hosted on Vine, Twitter and Instagram.
About the artist
Born in Malawi, Samson Kambalu lives and works in London. He has a BA in Fine Art and Ethnomusicology from University of Malawi (1999), an MA in Fine Art from Nottingham Trent University (2003), and a PhD from Chelsea College of Art and Design (2015). His first book 'The Jive Talker, or How to Get a British Passport' (Jonathan Cape, 2008 / Unionsverlag, 2010) was voted winner of National Book Tokens’ 'Global Reads' (2010). His work has been exhibited internationally since 2000, with selected solo shows at Art Exchange Gallery, Nottingham (2004); Whitechapel Gallery, London (2016); and Galerie Nordenhake, Stockholm (2017). His work has also been included in group shows and festivals such as Fotofest Biennial – African Cosmologies, Houston, (2020); Dak’art, Senegal (2016); and the 56th Venice Biennial (2015). Alongside his practice, Kambalu is Associate Professor of Fine Art at the Ruskin School of Art, Oxford.
Samson Kambalu (1975 - )
- Number 2 in an edition of 3
- digital video (master), colour
- 49 seconds
- Purchased from the artist March 2021, through the Art XUK project 2020-21
- Kate MacGarry; from whom purchased by UK Government Art Collection, 19 March 2021
- GAC number