Tic-Tac, time goes on in tune. hurry, from now on we must be constellation, intangible, neither transparent nor translucent, but overflowing […] They, we, you, I, no pronoun can hold us.
Josèfa Ntjam, I am nameless, 2020
Josèfa Ntjam is an artist, performer and writer working across film, photomontage, sculpture, installation and sound. Sourcing her primary materials from the internet and books on Natural Sciences, Ntjam uses collage – of images, words, sounds, and stories – as a method to deconstruct the grand narratives structuring hegemonic discourses on authenticity, origin, identity and race. Her work weaves multiple narratives drawn from investigations into historical events, scientific functions or philosophical concepts, to which she confronts references to African mythology, ancestral rituals and science-fiction stories. The conflation of a priori heterogeneous discourses and iconographies enables the artist to reclaim History while speculating on not-yet-determined space-times – interstitial, ‘futurible’ worlds where unprecedented forms of beings, identities and collectives can be envisioned. From there, Ntjam composes utopian cartographies and ontological fictions in which technological fantasy, intergalactic voyages and hypothetical underwater civilizations become the matrix for a practice of emancipation that promotes the emergence of inclusive, processual and resilient communities.
Josèfa Ntjam was born in 1992 in Metz, France, and currently lives and works in Saint-Étienne, France. She studied in Amiens and Dakar (Cheikh Anta Diop University) and graduated from l’Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Art, Bourges (FR) and Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Art, Paris-Cergy (FR). Her first solo exhibition at NICOLETTI will be taking place in June–July 2021. Her work and performances have been shown in international exhibitions, including Anticorps, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2020); Paysage alentour, Centre Pompidou, Paris (2020); Risquons-tout, WIELS, Brussels (2020); Climate Knowledges, MAMA, Rotterdam (2020); 15th Biennale de Lyon, MAC Lyon, Lyon (2019); Feminism, Gender, Resistance – Act 3, Arnolfini, Bristol (2019); and Allegoria, duo Show with Kaeto Sweeney, Hordaland Art Center, Bergen, Norway (2019). Upcoming exhibitions include EUROPA, Oxalá, Africamuseum, Tervuren, BE; Mucem, Marseille, and Centro Internacional das Artes José de Guimarães, Guimarães, PT (2021); MEMORIA: récits d’une autre histoire, Frac Nouvelle-Aquitaine MÉCA, Bordeaux, FR (2021), and Drift: Art and Dark Matter, residency and exhibition at Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Kingston, Ontario, CA (in collaboration with the Arthur B. McDonald Canadian Astroparticle Physics Research Institute and SNOLAB).
Ntjam is a member of Paris-based art & research collective Black(s) to the Future (https://blackstothefuture.com/).
Ntjam’s work is part of the collection of FRAC Alsace, Selestat, FR; EIB Institute, Luxemburg; and Artothèque de Strasbourg, FR.