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Olu Oguibe in dialogue with Lynhan Balatbat-Helbock: Monuments to the Vulnerable

Conference: Counter-Monuments and Para-Monuments(WiSe 21/22)

Olu Oguibe is an award-winning multi-media artist and writer whose work often straddles minimalist formalism and engagement with global social issues. His work has been exhibited in museums and galleries around the world, and he has participated in several international biennials and triennials including the Venice, Havana, and Busan biennials. He has also created permanent public works in many countries and curated or co-curated several significant international exhibitions. His writings on art, literature, and cultural theory are widely published. Oguibe has been a fellow of the Smithsonian Institution, the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School, the Rockefeller Center in Bellagio, and the Open Societies Foundations, among others. His many honors include the State of Connecticut Governor’s Arts Award for excellence and lifetime achievement in 2013, and the 2017 Arnold-Bode-Preis of the City of Kassel for his work in documenta 14. In 2017, he left his position as Professor of Painting at the University of Connecticut to concentrate on making art.

Lynhan Balatbat-Helbock is a curator and researcher at SAVVY Contemporary, where she is part of the participatory archive project Colonial Neighbours. She received her MA in Postcolonial Cultures and Global Policy at Goldsmiths University of London. In her work within the permanent collection of SAVVY Contemporary she looks for colonial traces that are manifested in our present. The collaborative archive dedicates itself to discussing silenced histories and to the de-canonization of the Western gaze through objects and the stories behind them. With close collaboration from artists, initiatives, and activists, the archive is activated through hybrid forms of practice. Lynhan Balatbat-Helbock assisted the management for the documenta 14 radio program E very Time a Ear di Soun at SAVVY Funk in Berlin (2017), supported the artist Bouchra Khalili with several projects and exhibitions (2015/16), and worked on a year-long research project on Julius Eastman in a collaboration between SAVVY Contemporary and the Maerzmusik festival (2017/18). In 2018 she produced Agnieszka Polska’s commission for Germany’s National Gallery Prize show in the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin (2018/19). Lately she has been co-curating the year-long research and exhibition program HERE HISTORY BEGAN. TRACING THE RE/VERBERATIONS OF HALIM EL-DABH (2020/21).

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