Als Teil unserer Kooperation mit b_books:
This evening is planned as an improvisation on the limits of knowledge
and power as well as the overreach of knowledge and power.
The Kantian bifurcation—which positions the experience of the transcendental
(noumenon) over the empirical (phenomena) invented a place for a „Thing
in itself“ (Ding an sich), hidden, disguised and open for speculation.
When his successor, the philosopher and idealist Hegel, however,
speculated about the African continent as the “land of childhood” in
which “the Negro exhibits the natural man in his completely wild and
untamed state” he was sitting in a room in Germany and had never been in
Africa, yet not shy to claim that: “At this point we leave Africa, not
to mention it again. For it is no historical part of the World; it has
no movement or development to exhibit.[…] Egypt will be considered in
reference to the passage of the human mind from its Eastern to its
Western phase, but it does not belong to the African Spirit. What we
properly understand by Africa, is the Unhistorical, Undeveloped Spirit,
still involved in the conditions of mere nature, and which had to be
presented here only as on the threshold of the World’s History.”
This breathtaking ignorance (maybe common sense at its time) also
functions here as the ultimate purveyor of contemporary Eurocentric
racism. This racism travelled from Europe to the New World on the ships
of colonialism and the Free Jazz pioneer Sun RA claimed, in order to
escape this powerful allocation from outside, to originate from Planet
Sirius. He used ancient Egypt as his source for cosmic-collective sound
experiments of the Sun Ra Arkestra. This sound-ship functions as a
vessel for cosmic expeditions which leaves Planet Earth as a place of
Diaspora and outer space as the place to be.
The Dogon are based in Mali and they structure their entire tribal life
around the secret and very accurate knowledge of the existence of the
small satellite of Planet Sirius called Sirius B, they call it NOMMO,
the seed of the cosmos, which of course is not visible with the naked
eye. As if the limits of Kant’s NOUMENON does nor apply, the Dogon lived
this ritual-knowledge-dance at a time when Hegel made his wild
speculations and coined his poor judgement. NASA later verified the
discovery of Sirius B by the Dogon with modern telescopes and it remains
a mystery how the Dogon could know this. Afrofuturism was born out of
this clash between ignorance, power, racism and secret knowledge, and as
a weapon of disguise, it became part of pop culture. A Joyfull Noise
Beyoncés performance at the Superbowl and in the video Lemonade nibbles
from this sweet sources of black resistance and is loved and once again
hated for her appropriation of this radical tradition. The performance
concept FLESHION by Thelma Bonavita embodies the collision between flesh
and fashion. A collision indeed, a disguise, a subtle tease, a light
touch, because touch is the ground of pure abstraction and is flowing
like a Latent River between the bodies. From the other side of the world
blows an ancient wind, the Afro-Brazilian futurism of Candomblé.
The evening will unfold and perform aspects of this history and its future.
Dance first. Think later. It’s the natural order.