Nexus of Adaptation/Practicing Fantasy


Digital Render, Video Loop

Comissioned for the exhibition ‘stretching across time and space.
On the Coloniality of Objects and Projects’, curated by participants of the /ecm Master at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, in collaboration with the Vienna Museum of Science and Technology.

In Nexus of Adaptation/Practicing Fantasy, Vanessa A. Opoku intervenes in an institutional collection and sets an object in motion through digital transformation. To do this, she recorded point cloud scans of the pair of shoes made of natural rubber in the depot of the Vienna Museum of Science and Technology. Like a trace, the shoes point to the gaps in the archive: the forced labor system of the rubber industry, the exploited indigenous knowledge, the lack of documentation of anticolonial resistance.Who produced these shoes; when, where, and under what conditions? Were they intended as local workwear or for the European market? Under what circumstances did they come into the possession of the Semperit AG, which „donated“ the shoes to the museum? Animated in virtual space, the object simultaneously reveals and eludes itself. Opoku‘s treatment removes the shoes from the depot and from their function of serving as a source of information about their cultural history, and gives them a new speculative existence.The object thus loses its exemplariness and comes into view as a concrete materiality that has experienced a history of use in a continuous process of becoming. This is documented nowhere else than in the folds and cracks of the rubber itself.

Text: Lina Brion


© 2024 Vanessa Opoku. All rights reserved.