This exhibition presents Kwassa Kwassa (2015), a film created by the Danish artist collective, SUPERFLEX. Focusing on small, handmade fishing boats—the kwassa kwassa of the title, which translates to “unstable boat,” their construction, and the voyages they enable, the film is a visual meditation on migration, economy, citizenship, and history. It takes as its subject the Comoro Islands, an archipelago in the Mozambique Channel off the southeastern coast of Africa, comprised of islands that are both independent and under French rule.
Through evocative narrative and lush imagery, SUPERFLEX conjures a contemporary myth in this project—making the peculiarities of colonization and geography seem fantastical and allegorical. Their work interrogates questions of economic and social inequality between the so-called first- and developing-worlds, while seeking to reframe migration and movement across the powerful but invisible borders that shape our world as acts of resistance. Project Gallery: SUPERFLEX marks the North American debut of this film.
SUPERFLEX is Jakob Fenger (b. Copenhagen, 1968), Rasmus Nielsen (b. Copenhagen, 1969) and Bjonstjerne Christiansen (b. Copenhagen, 1969). They have worked together since 1993, focusing on socio-economic models, corporate structures, and systems of politics, finance, and production. Many of their best-known works, which they refer to as “tools,” take a diversity of forms, operating as interventions, engaging and disrupting pre-existing codes and forms, and often relying on public participation. Kwassa Kwassa is a masterful and sensitive culmination of their film work to date, combining their rich, detailed style with their trenchant eye for the lived contradictions of global economy.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.