Em’Kal Eyongakpa (Cameroon)

Musée National du Mali

BE-side[s] (2009 – 2014)

Through the ritual use of repetition and transformation, Em’kal Eyongakpa grapples with what has been lived, what is unknown, and what forms our collective histories. In the search for a world where the subjective and objective are one and the same, he melds performance art, audio creations, video, photography, sculpture, drawing, and poetry, erasing the borders between both the different media, and between illusion and reality.

Initially conceived as an archival object for assorted personal vestiges, BE-side[s] is a poetic manifes- to. It brings together a body of work that Eyongakpa has been developing since 2009 as well as references and personal memos from notebooks that have accumulated over the course of time. The title of the piece is inspired by the idea of listening to the B-sides of albums, where artists experiment with new forms of creation. The work also includes conversations that the artist has had on social media with friends, loved ones, and fellow artists. The resulting concoction is a sort of hybrid where reflections on the individual and the place of art in society are mixed together.

The artist has chosen to reimagine BE-side[s] as an installation that integrates the video À suivre (2012), which is a succession of excerpts from bellicose political speeches that were recorded between 1940 and 2012. Like phantoms, the voices of Adolph Hitler or Saddam Hussein rise and are interposed with those of Nicolas Sarkozy or Barack Obama. This video asserts itself as an unnerving appraisal of amnesia.
The BE-side[s] installation mingles the past with the present, generating a reflection on the filmed image that entangles political, artistic, and per- sonal questions.

Born in 1981 in Mamfe, Cameroon –
Lives between Yaoundé and Amsterdam

Institut Français
Ministère de la Culture de l’Artisanat et du Tourisme du Mali