Bonaventure Ndikung: The Dog Done Gone Deaf

Vortrag
Dr. Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung: The Dog Done Gone Deaf
Exploring The Sonic Cosmologies of Halim El-Dabh
Donnerstag, 2. November 2017, 19 Uhr, Aula

This lecture takes its cue from the 2007 eponymous album The Dog Done Gone Deaf by composer, musicologist, educator, sound artist and panafricanist Halim El-Dabh. El-Dabh’s electronic music, music for chamber, percussion ensembles, orchestra, concerto, wind ensemble, choral music, dramatic music and film music stand out as some of the most daring and innovative of the 20th century. This lecture will offer a possibility of a counter narration and a re-configuration of a genealogy of sound art history, albeit from within. The Dog Done Gone Deaf will be an effort to lay bear El-Dabh’s musical dexterity, the sophistication and complexity of his artistic oeuvre – which integrates allegories, myths and pluriversal cosmogonies – that spanned a period of seventy years.

It is true that since an excerpt of his 1944 composition The Expression of Zār was released under the title Wire Recorder Piece on CD in 2000, El-Dabh has been celebrated in art music circles as one of the first composers to use the techniques that Pierre Schaeffer was later to use in 1948, thereby giving birth to musique concrète. But it is also true that El-Dabh’s practice can and should not be reduced to references of the Western canon (although he played with/for Alan Hovhaness, Henry Cowell, John Cage or Martha Graham amongst others), as his musical philosophies lie deeply rooted in African, Afrodiasporic and Arabic musical traditions, and his compositions and experimentations surpass the framework of musique concrète.

The lecture will be an effort to put a spotlight on a forgotten forerunner of Sound art, an imperative figure in what one might call an Afrosonic art practice, and reflect on and disseminate El-Dabh’s aural epistemologies.

Bonaventure Ndikung is guest professor of Curatorial Studies this forthcoming semester at the Städelschule.

Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, PhD is an independent art curator and biotechnologist. He is founder and artistic director of SAVVY Contemporary Berlin and editor-in-chief of SAVVY Journal for critical texts on contemporary African art.

He was curator-at-large for Documenta 14, and is a guest curator of the 2018 Dak'Art Biennale in Senegal. Recent curatorial projects include Every Time A Ear di Soun — a documenta 14 Radio Program, SAVVY Contemporary, 2017; The Conundrum of Imagination, Leopold Museum Vienna/ Wienerfestwochen, 2017; An Age of our Own Making in Holbæk, MCA Roskilde and Kunsthal Charlottenborg Copenhagen, 2016-17; Unlearning the Given: Exercises in Demodernity and Decoloniality, SAVVY Contemporary, 2016; The Incantation of the Disquieting Muse, SAVVY Contemporary, 2016.

Der Vortrag findet in englischer Sprache statt.