The Earth Inside
National Art Gallery of Namibia
Art Exhibition by Nicola Brandt
1 August – 23 August 2014
Viewing daily from 08:00 to 17:00, Monday to Friday, and 09:00 to 14:00 on Saturdays.
Additional video screening: Friday 1 August at 18h00
Opening and Press Preview
THURSDAY 31 JULY 2014 (18h00 to 21h00)
Curated by Vid Simoniti
Guest Speaker: Professor Peter Katjavivi
Nicola Brandt’s exhibition The Earth Inside at the National Art Gallery of Namibia is the artist’s first solo show. The multimedia installation consists of video, photographs, audio, archival material and found artefacts. Nicola Brandt is based in London and Namibia. She is due to complete her doctorate in Fine Art at the University of Oxford in 2014. She creates films, photography and installations that explore stories and personal histories. She is interested in how places, objects and images carry fragmented references and memories that in both direct and unintentional ways influence our ideas and shape our lives.
In The Earth Inside Brandt attempts to highlight particular counter-narratives and blind spots in the historical record of the Herero genocide. With her post-documentary approach to film, the artist creates vignettes that reveal three parallel lives in a small coastal town. A Herero woman makes her living from tourists taking photos of her in her traditional dress. On her way to work, she walks past Herero and Nama mass graves. A German Namibian woman in her nineties tries to maintain her illusions about the Second World War and recalls a romantic encounter in the cemetery that lies near her home and adjacent to the unmarked graves. A woman in her twenties has returned to Namibia, the country of her birth, after years of living in Europe, and grapples with her heritage. The three stories are accompanied by large-scale video and photography triptychs of the Namibian desert coastline and its hinterland. These deceitfully beautiful, derelict landscapes contain places of historical violence. The sites are largely unmarked and their identity has been preserved primarily through personal memories and oral histories. The exhibition, curated by Vid Simoniti, will be accompanied by a series of talks at the University of Namibia and a panel discussion at the National Art Gallery.