The Map

© M. Kitenge Banza, 2017

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© M. Kitenge Banza, 2017

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The Map

April 14 to May 19, 2018

Saturday, April 14, 2018, at 5pm

Gallery walkthrough with the artist
Saturday May 19, 2018, at 3:30 pm

Beginning in 2009, The Map is an ongoing, perpetually transforming project in which the artist questions his identity through the creation of personal world maps without borders, the artificial legacy of history. This poetic cartography is a reflection of Kitenge Banza's identity and transformation through the places he occupies within the world over time. Of his work, Kitenge Banza says: "This body of work tracks a topographical portrait of my life, symbolized by sets and subsets interconnected by arrows depicting my movements and displacements. The map itself becomes a compass. Borrowing from ancient mapmaking codes, the work suggests that the only countries that exist are the ones I've discovered, questioning the existence of the Other in relation to my own."

A reflection on territory, on history, on memory and on borders

A reflection on space as social, geopolitical, identitary sentimental and cultural place

On the world map I create at the end of every year, I claim my chez moi wherever I wish, wherever my freedom of movement will take me, completely unhindered. It is through this practice that I find safety, and a way to banish that lost feeling, the sense of being far from place of origin. The map itself becomes a compass. Borrowing from ancient mapmaking codes, the work suggests that the only countries that exist are the ones I’ve discover, questioning the existence of the Other in relation to my own.

Does the other exist because I decided it? Who are they in relation to me? Who am I in relation to them? There are so many questions that are irrespective of issues of border or colour. This work questions my way of knowing, of structuring and of presenting the world and the place I occupy in it, as a young person, of African in origin, as Congolese, immigrant and now as a Canadian.

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Moridja Kitenge Banza

Moridja Kitenge Banza is a Canadian artist of Congolese origin, born in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. He graduated from the Académie des beaux-arts de Kinshasa and l’École supérieure des beaux-arts de Nantes Métropole. His practice interrogates the history, memory and identity of the places he inhabits or has formerly inhabited, particularly the place he occupies within them. His projects consist of paintings, installations, photographs, drawings and videos. In 2010, he received the first prize at the Dakar Biennale for the video Hymne à nous and his installation De 1848 à nos jours. His work has been presented at the Musée Dauphinois (France), at the Museum of Contemporary Art (Roskilde, Denmark), at the Arndt Gallery and nGbK (Berlin, Germany), at the Biennale de Casablanca (Morocco), at the Fondation Attijariwafa Bank (Morocco), at the Fondation Blachère (France), at the National Arts Festival de Grahamstown (South Africa) as well as the Joyce Yahouda Gallery (Montreal).