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Thapong International - National Museum of Botswana - Gaberone


performance of five women in traditional clothing carrying two paper heads and three paper Colobus monkeys during the open day of the Wasanii workshop.

This work was produced during the Wasanii international Workshop in Kenya, which took place at Elsamere Field Studies Centre at Lake Naivasha in 1999. During this workshop I made my small outdoor studio place right at the shore of Lake Naivasha.

While I was working there a group of Colobus monkeys, black with long white hair, where watching me daily and constantly from out the save distance of the trees. Whenever I left my working space, to get some drink or food, the monkeys immediately came down from the trees and approached my working area – they would inspect my working tools and curiously inspected each new object I made. During each minute I felt ‘watched’ and this group of monkeys registered every move I did.

At the last day of the workshop lots of international visitors arrive to see the art produced during the workshop. I wanted the visitors to get this feeling of being watched from out the woods. I asked five women to show up during this day and walk through the forest around the workshop area carrying my objects. Until the last day my colleagues didn’t know what I was up to and the performance was a kept as a surprise.

Later this performance also took place in the streets of Nairobi - this during the opening night at the exhibition at the national museum of Nairobi.

Kuona Trust, Nairobi and Triangle Arts Trust, London organized this international workshop. And they organized it in a fantastic way. I think I never worked under more pleasant and beautiful conditions with all material provided -working among fantastic artists- a workshop with food cooked and coffee served.