Duet for Cannibals
Right image: Patrizio Di Massimo, from the drawing series Ten Little Niggers, 2009

Agentur and Jap Sam Books are pleased to invite you for the presentation of the publication Duet For Cannibals: Forms of Cultural Appropriation at

SMBA, Amsterdam
on the occasion of the exhibition opening of SEE REASON - Carlos Garaicoa en Patrizio Di Massimo

Date: Friday, 17 December 2010
Time: 5 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Location: SMBA - Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam, Rozenstraat 59, Amsterdam
With thanks to: SMBA

On the night of the opening of SEE REASON, the publication 'Duet for Cannibals: Forms of Cultural Appropriation' will be for sale; accompanying the exhibition of Carlos Garaicoa and
Patrizio Di Massimo, as a series of drawings by artist Patrizio Di Massimo form part of the book.
For more information see: SMBA

The book launch of Duet For Cannibals: Forms of Cultural Appropriation took place at Lloyd Hotel, Amsterdam. The curator/editor Inti Guerrero did give a presentation, including a screening of Indo-Rock bands performing in the 1960's.

Date: Thursday, 2 December 2010
Time: 5 p.m. - 7 p.m., with tea and coffee
Borrel: Lloyd Bar, from 7 p.m. onwards cash bar
Location: Lloyd Zaal / Lloyd Hotel, Oostelijke Handelskade 34, Amsterdam
With thanks to: Cultural Embassy Lloyd Hotel, Amsterdam

For more information see: Jap Sam Books

With thanks to: Mondriaan Foundation, Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst

The publication Duet for Cannibals is the final outcome of a screening and discussion program on colonialism and cannibalism as forms of cultural appropriation, which took place at the Tropentheater in Amsterdam from January to April, 2010. The program brought together a selection of videos, films and slideshows by contemporary artists and filmmakers with archive films from the collection of the late Colonial Institute of the Netherlands, nowadays Royal Tropical Institute. Edited by curator Inti Guerrero, this publication presents a wide range of approaches to colonial archives, post-war cultural imperialism and countercultural forms of metropolitan creole-subcultures. Comprising contributions by artists, curators and writers: Raimond Chaves, Patrizio Di Massimo, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Hans Heijnen, Paulo Herkenhoff, Ossama Mohammed, Lutgard Mutsaers, Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Christodoulos Panayiotou, Jose Alejandro Restrepo, Rasha Salti, Susan Sontag, Russel Storer, Andy Warhol and Ming Wong. The title Duet for Cannibals is borrowed from a 1969 film directed by American author and critic Susan Sontag.

The prorgram Duet For Cannibals has been made possible with the support of Amsterdam Fonds voor de Kunsten and the Mondriaan Foundation.

15 January, 18 February, 31 March, 28 April 2010
Films, videos & talks at the Tropentheater, Royal Tropical Institute of Amsterdam

Duet for Cannibals
    Image: Opening Koloniaal Instituut in Amsterdam door HM de Koningin, 9 oktober 1926. © KIT, Amsterdam.


28 April 2010, 20h:
'When One Swallows A Canon'

Archive Film of the Tropenmuseum Collection, Expeditions and Encounters, New Guinea around 1925, 5 min
Gordon Matta-Clark (US), FOOD, 1972, documentary, 10 min (excerpt)
Q&A session, 20 min
15 min break
Andy Warhol (US), Susan Sontag, 1964, 16mm screen test, 5 min
Susan Sontag (US), Duet for Cannibals, 1969, 35mm film, 105 min
Food and drinks

Andy Warhol (Pittsburgh 1928, died 1987 in New York)
Andy Warhol's Screen Tests were filmed from early 1964 - November 1966. New rock-stars, actors, artists, writers, socialites of New York and Warhol's Factory visitors who had potential 'star' quality would be seated in front of a tripod-mounted camera, asked to be as still as possible, and told not to blink while the camera was running. Subjects included poet Allen Ginsberg (c. 64/65), Bob Dylan, Salvador Dali (1966), Baby Jane Holzer, Andy's first superstar Naomi Levine and Susan Sontag. One could say that the intimate relation between the camera and the subject being portrayed is a 'cannibalistic act'; the lens seems to swallow the subjects during the scrutinizing length of time and exteriorizes their 'unconscious' as recorded by their poses and natural gestures.

Andrew Warhola, more commonly known as Andy Warhol, was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art. After a successful career as a commercial illustrator, Warhol became famous worldwide for his work as a printmaker, avant-garde filmmaker, record producer, author, and public figure known for his membership in wildly diverse social circles including bohemian street people, distinguished intellectuals, Hollywood celebrities and wealthy aristocrats. Warhol has been the subject of numerous retrospective exhibitions, books, as well as feature and documentary films.

Gordon Matta-Clark (New York, 1943 - 1978)
In 1971 Matta-Clark and Carol Goodden opened a restaurant and art-installation, FOOD, on the corner of Prince and Wooster Streets, in Manhattan, New York. Matta-Clark's most famous plate Matta-'bone dinner' (phonetically Matta in Spanish means kill) was a special soup containing an entire boiled chicken. After the soup was eaten, the artist gave the chicken bones as a necklace to the person who had eaten the soup. The 16mm records the steps of cooking and the bohemian environment of this counter-cultural cosmopolitan 'savagery'. Run in a former Latin-American restaurant called Comidas Criollas (Creole foods), FOOD continued the semantic creole connotations with Matta-Clark's culinary mixing of flavors, forms and cultures.

Gordon Matta-Clark is one of the great cult figures of late twentieth-century art. Matta-Clark's interventions were always grounded in social or political convictions. Some of his projects included purchasing unusable urban land in New York at auction (Reality Properties Fake Estates, 1973), dispensing oxygen to passers-by in the streets of New York from a self-made cart (Fresh Air Cart, 1972), and other visionary urban projects that he conceived as a founding member of the New York-based Anarchitecture group. His practice remains one of the unique, unequalled and significantly influential of the past decades.

Susan Sontag (New York, 1933 - 2004)
'Duet for Cannibals' is a story about psychological, sexual and emotional cannibalism. The film tells a tale of two couples involved in academia and politics. Artur Bauer is a university professor living in exile in Sweden with his enigmatic wife Francesca. He hires young Tomas, ostensibly to help arrange his papers for publication. After leaving his mistress to live with the couple and take the position, Tomas quickly discovers that things are not quite right with the dysfunctional pair. The late New York Times film critic, Vincent Canby, described Duet for Cannibals as 'intriguing, surprising, witty and sinister to the end'.

Susan Sontag is an American essayist, short story writer, and novelist, a leading commentator on modern art and culture, whose innovative essays on such diverse subjects as camp, pornographic literature, fascist aesthetics, photography, AIDS, and revolution gained wide attention. Sontag wrote screenplays and directed films that had a great impact on experimental art in the 1960s and 1970s. Art and film critic Susan Sontag directed four films throughout her life. Examples of her internationally acclaimed and influential texts include: Against Interpretation (1966), On Photography (1977), Aids and Its Metaphors (1989), and In America (1999).

With special thanks to: MoMa, New York; Swedish Film Institute, Stockholm & Light Cone, Paris

31 March 2010, 20h:
'Conquering the Body'

Archive Film of the Tropenmuseum Collection, Education in the Dutch East-Indies and Going to School, Java 1927, B&W film footage, 3 min
Ossama Mohammed (SY), Step by Step (Khutwa Khutwa), 1977, B&W film, 25 min
Q&A session, 20 min
15 min break

'Duet for Cannibals' Key note lecture
Paulo Herkenhoff (BR), lecture, 45 min

Curator Inti Guerrero introducing the cannibalistic night Education in the Dutch East-Indies Step by Step (Khutwa Khutwa), 1977
Curator Inti Guerrero introducing the cannibalistic night Tropenmuseum collection: Education in the Dutch East-Indies Ossama Mohammed, Step by Step, 1977
Q&A Ossama Mohammed Lecture Paulo Herkenhoff Final discussion in Tropentheater Cafe
Q&A Ossama Mohammed Paulo Herkenhoff giving his lecture Final Q&A in Tropentheater Cafe
Images: © Anu Vahtra, 2010

Ossama Mohammed (Lattakia 1954, lives and works in Damascus)
At first the film Step by Step appears to document the beauty of the Syrian countryside, but it moves on to expose the powers that control the land, the city and the people. Step by Step shows the misery of young adolescent villagers with a basic education, whose only choice is their parent's hard farming life or to be a migrant labourer in the city. Trapped between religious and political ideologies, these young peasants choose a third alternative, the army, as they are fascinated by authority. Ossama's short film follows the adolescents as they pass through their society's stages of submission. We see their transformation from an individual mindset of unmediated coexistence with nature towards an acceptance and justification of violence towards those they hold dearest. The film demonstrates how society normalizes and justifies violence as a means to transform generations of peasants into citizen-soldiers. Avant-garde cinematography allows the film to distance itself from documentary ethnographic fetichism, as the people appearing in the film are not treated as 'objects or subjects of study'. The film portrays an authoritarian government operating biopolitically within the idiosyncrasy of people. Although the peasants in the film live far from an urban environment, they are strongly attached and subjected to the estate power concentrated in the modern metropolis of Damascus. This power is exquisitely and subtlety revealed in the film's final frame whose backdrop is a modern building with a huge image of ruler, Hafez al-Assad.

Ossama Mohammed studied film at the Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography in Moscow during the Soviet era. He returned to Syria and directed a short documentary for the General Organization for Cinema titled, Al-Yaom Koll Yaom (Today Everyday, 1980) and directed his first fiction feature Nujum al-Nahar (Stars in Broad Daylight) in 1988. Nujum al-Nahar is deemed by many to be a scathing critique of contemporary Syrian society as trapped in the iron grip of the Baath regime; therefore, the film has never been permitted to be publicly screened in Syria. This film was selected for viewing at the Cannes Film Festival's Quinzaine des Realisateurs, and earned the filmmaker great critical praise, followed by winning the Golden Olive at the Valencia Festival in the same year.

Paulo Herkenhoff (Cachoeiro de Itapemirim 1949, lives and works in Rio de Janeiro)
Paulo Herkenhoff is a curator and writer based in Rio de Janeiro. In 1998 he was the artistic director of the 24th Bienal de Sao Paulo: Anthropophagy and Histories of Cannibalism, which brought the cultural heritage of Brazil's 1920's Antropofagia avant-garde movement to contemporary art discourse. Herkenhoff is former adjunct Curator of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, where he curated exhibitions such as Tempo, 2003. He directed the Museum of Fine Arts in Rio de Janeiro (2003-2006) and was chief curator of the Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro (1985-1990). He has written extensively on the work of (selection) Louise Bourgeois, Helio Oiticica, Cildo Meireles and Rebbeca Horn and has contributed to several exhibition publications on Brazilian and Latin-American modern and contemporary art. He has lectured in various universities in the United States, such as Bard College, Harvard University and Yale University, amongst others.

With special thanks to: International Visiting Program of the Mondriaan Foundation and De Appel, Amsterdam.

18 February 2010, 20h:
'Cannibalizing Popular Culture'

Tropenmuseum Collection, At Home in the Dutch East Indies: The Life of Europeans (Thuis in Indie: Het leven der Europeanen), Java Sumatra period 1912-1941, 6 min. film footage
Ming Wong (SG), Life of Imitation, 2009, 4 min. video-diptych (single screen version)
Christodoulos Panayiotou (CY), Wonderland, 2008, 10 min. slideshow
Hans Heijnen (NL), Rockin' Ramona, 1991, 10 min excerpt, documentary
Raimond Chaves (PE), El Toque Criollo, 2005, 45 min. lecture

Curator Inti Guerrero introducing the cannibalistic night At Home in the Dutch East Indies Ming Wong, Life of Imitation, 2009
Curator Inti Guerrero introducing the cannibalistic night Tropenmuseum collection: At Home in the Dutch East Indies Ming Wong, Life of Imitation, 2009
Christodoulos Panayiotou, Wonderland, 2008 Hans Heijnen, Rockin' Ramona, 1991 Raimond Chaves, El Toque Criollo (lecture)
Christodoulos Panayiotou, Wonderland, 2008 Hans Heijnen, Rockin' Ramona, 1991 Raimond Chaves, El Toque Criollo (lecture)
Images: © Anu Vahtra, 2010

At Home in the Dutch East Indies: The Life of Europeans (Thuis in Indie: Het leven der Europeanen) — Tropenmuseum Collection, Java Sumatra period 1912-1941, 6 min. film footage
Produced by the former Colonial Institute of Amsterdam (nowadays Royal Tropical Institute), this short documentary intends to depict 'European/Metropolitan' life established by colonial rule in the Indonesian archipelago. Starting with a scene where a Dutch housewife buys food from an Indonesian peasant, who arrives to her house entrance with traditional baskets full of vegetables and spices, the film footage rapidly centers around a popular Western bourgeois leisure activity of the epoch: High tea houses. Explicitly showing the distinction of class and race within Dutch-Indonesian colonial society, the film 'At Home in the Dutch East Indies' seems to be a governmental propaganda to recruit more Dutch families to move to their colonies.

Ming Wong (Singapore 1971, lives and works in Berlin)
Originally commissioned for the 53rd Venice Biennale for the artist's solo exhibition at the Singapore Pavilion, 'Life of Imitation' is inspired by a scene from the classic Hollywood melodrama by Douglas Sirk, 'Imitation of Life' (1959) when a black mother meets her mixed-race daughter who has been running away from her true 'identity'. Ming's version features three male actors from the three main ethnic groups in Singapore (Chinese, Malay and Indian) who take turns playing the black mother and her 'white' daughter. The identity of the actor for each role changes constantly with each shot.

Ming Wong's work has been shown at the Singapore Art Museum, Kunstverein in Duesseldorf, Centro Cultural Montehermoso, ZKM centre for art and media, in addition to many other galleries and institutions in South Asia and Europe. He is a graduate of Slade School of Art, University College London, 1997-99. Wong obtained his BFA at the Nanyang Academy, Singapore, and is a former resident fellow of Kuenstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin.

Christodoulos Panayiotou (Limassol 1978, lives and works in Berlin)
'Wonderland', color slides, realized with the collaboration of the Municipal Archives of the City of Limassol, Cyprus, is the outcome of extensive research in the historical archives of the city of Limassol, pointing out the 'obsession' of Limassolians to disguise themselves as Disney characters during their annual carnival parade. The work covers the period from the late '70s up to the present and renegotiates the historic and political narrative of this important social event.

In 2005 Panayiotou won the 4th DESTE Prize from the DESTE Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Athens, Greece. He has recently exhibited at The Museum Of Modern Art Oxford, UK, 2006; The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, 2007; Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center Istanbul, 2006; and Den Frie, Copenhagen, 2007.

Hans Heijnen (Sittard 1957, lives and works in the Netherlands)
The first sounds of Rock&Roll produced in Holland were by "Indos"; Dutch-Indonesians who fled their homeland when Indonesia became independent from the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Through culture clashes, affinity with American rock 'n' roll, black-American guitar-orientated music and their 'Asian touch', a unique sound developed into the best Europe had to offer. Starring legendary Indo-rock bands like The Tielman Brothers, Javelins, Crazy Rockers, Black Dynamites and Black Magic, 'Rockin' Ramona' brings us back to a moment of both post-war and post-colonial cohesion and tension at times of a new world order where Rock was expanding globally, not to say inherently imperially, but always manifested with a certain locality.

Hans Heijnen (Sittard, 1957) studied political sciences in Nijmegen and later enrolled at the The Netherlands Film and Television Academy (NFTA). His documentary films were awarded with several nominations: 'Rockin' Ramona', the first long documentary Heijnen produced received immediately the Gouden Kalf nomination at the Dutch Film Festival in 1991. He has also directed among others, 'The Surinamese Legion, 2004' a documentary about the Surinam professional football players in the Netherlands, between 1954 until 2000.

15 minutes break

Raimond Chaves (Bogota 1963, lives and works in Lima)
'El Toque Criollo' is a lecture with multimedia presentation about political, historical, social and cultural issues of Latin America as exemplified by the images of old record covers bought in Latin American flea markets. This humorous lecture gives context to the LP images that are projected while music is played from the popular genres: ranchera, cumbia, salsa, and merengue, which serve as a historiographic disembodiment of semiotics. The hardcore stories range from how music bands appropriated the aesthetics of political agitation resulting in lyrics and imagery directly or indirectly connected to repression within dictatorships: Marxist-Leninist and Maoist rural insurgency, drug cartels, and American pop influence. The artist's presentation reveals yet other post-colonial traumas where racism and sexism mark the form of cultural representation.

The work of Raimond Chavez is part of international collections like Tate Modern, London, and MUSAC in Leon. He has been part of the 27th Sao Paulo Bienal: How to live together, and Trienal Poligrafica de Puerto Rico, among many others.

Followed by a Q&A discussion

Hans Heijnen (NL), Rockin' Ramona, 1991

15 January 2010, 20h:
'Encounters with Empires'

Tropenmuseum collection and Tungsten Studio, Missionaries in Papua, 2007, 8 min. documentary
Jose Alejandro Restrepo (CO), Traveler's Diary, 1992, 22 min. video
Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster (FR), Gloria, 2008, 5 min. video
Wendelien van Oldenborgh (NL), Instruction, 2009, 30 min. video

Snowy entrance Tropentheater Curator Inti Guerrero introducing Duet for Cannibals Tropenmuseum collection and Tungsten Studio, Missionaries in Papua, 2007, 8 min. documentary
Snowy entrance to the Tropentheater Amsterdam Curator Inti Guerrero introducing the cannibalistic night Tropenmuseum collection/Tungsten Studio: Missionaries in Papua
Jose Alejandro Restrepo, Traveler's Diary, 1992 Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Gloria, 2008 Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Instruction, 2009
Jose Alejandro Restrepo, Traveler's Diary, 1992 Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Gloria, 2008 Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Instruction, 2009
Images: © Anu Vahtra, 2010

'Missionaries in Papua', Tropenmuseum collection and Tungsten Studio, 2007 8 min. documentary
Although the Catholic Church had been active on the Southern coast of Netherlands New Guinea (Papua) since 1905, it was not until 1953 that the first missionary post was set up in the Asmat region. The first Westerner to settle among the Asmat was the Dutch missionary Gerard Zegwaard, a pioneer priest of the Sacred Heart.

Commissioned by the Tropenmuseum to Tungsten Studio.
Audio: Interview with priest Zegwaard by Tijs Goldschmidt and Roy Villevoye.
Film footage: 'Campaign' by Dr. Vincent van Amelsvoort, medical officer in Asmat during the years of 1959 to 1962. PACE collection, Utrecht.

Jose Alejandro Restrepo (Bogota 1959, lives and works in Bogota)
Restrepo's video practice is centred on a revision to the memoirs of colonial travellers in the Americas, particularly their cultural representation of natives and nature taken as the first forms of Western visual representation of the unknown. The video, 'Traveler's Diary' (1992), is an interpretation of Alexander von Humboldt's diary during an expedition to the Andes. In the video, the European traveller experiences the effects of a psychotropic substance and the film depicts an enlightened scientist's encounter with savages from the tropics as well as his own lost of control of rationality (while being under the influence).

Jose Alejandro Restrepo has had solo exhibitions (selection) at Museo de Antioquia, Medellin (2008), Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, Miami (2007) and Luis Angel Arango Library, Bogota (2001). His work has been part of group exhibitions like (selection) Tempo at MoMa, Define Context at Apex Art, The Sense of Place at Centro de Arte Museo Reina Sofia, Botanica Poltica at Fundacion la Caixa and both Venice and Sao Paulo Biennials.

Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster (Strasbourg 1965, lives and works in Paris and Rio de Janeiro)
'Gloria' (2008) is a video, which portrays a French-style public garden in Rio de Janeiro. The subtitles that accompany the piece provide indirect commentary on French bourgeois cultural (aesthetic) colonialism within the process of modernity in Brazil's 19th century republican society. The film addresses the dislocation of modernity within a tropical context.

Gonzalez-Foerster has had solo exhibitions at Tate Modern (2009), Musee d'Art Modern de la Ville de Paris (2006); Kunsthalle Zuerich (2004); Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2003); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2002); Portikus, Frankfurt (2001) and the galleries of Jan Mot in Brussels, Esther Schipper in Berlin and Koyanagi in Tokyo. She has participated in several important group exhibitions including: 'Utopia Station', the Venice Biennale (2003) and 'Documenta 11' (2002).

Wendelien van Oldenborgh (Rotterdam 1962, lives and works in Rotterdam)
'Instruction' (2009) begins with William Faulkner's famous quote from his book Requiem for a Nun: 'The past is never dead. It's not even past'. The film disembodies traumatic events of the Dutch military intervention in Indonesia after World War II, known as a 'police action'. The film's cast is a group of young cadets from the Royal Netherlands Military Academy who perform a script including excerpts and quotes from a variety of sources: personal diaries, historical broadcast transcripts related to the topic, and essays. These contributions tackle the collective responsibility and heritage of the Dutch colonial past.

Wendelien van Oldenborgh has had solo exhibitions (selection) at the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Muhka, Antwerp and the Musee des Beaux Arts, Mulhouse. Her work has formed part of group exhibitions like (selection) Becoming Dutch at Van Abbemuseum, Be What You Want But Stay Where You Are at Witte de With, What Keeps Mankind Alive?-10th Istanbul Biennal and In living contact-28th Sao Paulo Biennial.

Q&A with Inti Guerrero, Wendelien van Oldenborgh and Jose Alejandro Restrepo

40 min. (recorded audio) Q&A with Inti Guerrero, Wendelien van Oldenborgh and Jose Alejandro Restrepo
15 Jan 2010, Tropentheater, Amsterdam [best sound quality with headphones]

Organized by agentur, this screening program has been conceived by Inti Guerrero, an art critic and curator born in Bogota, Colombia and based in Amsterdam. Guerrero completed studies on History and Theory of Art & Architecture, and General History at the Universidad de Los Andes in Colombia and the Universidade de Sao Paulo in Brazil. He is a former Curator-in-Residence of the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin and Capacete Entretenimentos in Rio de Janeiro. Guerrero's proposal was selected as a result of an Open Call by a jury composed of: Nathalie Zonnenberg, art historian and curator; Eva Fotiadi, art historian; Knut Birkholz, curator and writer and Karin Christof, curator and artistic director of agentur. The Open Call was part of the program of agentur: in transit: 2008 and supported by the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts.

Duet for Cannibals

Location: Tropentheater, Linnaeusstraat 2, Amsterdam
Doors open: 19.00 hrs
Time: 20.00 hrs
Entrance: 7,50 Eur inclusive one drink
Tickets: Tropentheater and telephone: 020 5688 500
For more information contact: pers@agentur.nl

Partner: Tropentheater Amsterdam, Mondriaan Foundation, Amsterdam Fund for the Arts