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April 20th - 22nd, 2022


Diaspora Pavilion 2, Venice. Zot Konn – Yeman / They know – the wise / Lo conoscono – il saggio. Presented by: International Curators Forum (ICF) in partnership with VeniceArtFactory and Contemporis ETS.

Curated by Jessica Taylor.

Artists: Shiraz Bayjoo with Nicolas Faubert and Siyabonga Mthembu

Exhibition Dates: 20 - 22 April 2022

Performances held daily at 12:00 – 12:30, 15:00 – 15:30, 18:00 – 18:30

Location: Teatrino Groggia / Groggia Theatre, Cannaregio 3150

Google maps link.


Instagram: @ICF__


For ICF’s Diaspora Pavilion 2: Venice, Shiraz Bayjoo will present a new performance and installation in collaboration with Nicolas Faubert and Siyabonga Mthembu during the vernissage of the 59th Venice Biennale. 

This new commission, conceived by Bayjoo, will feature moving image, sculptural installation, choreographed movement enacted by Faubert and vocal performances by Mthembu. Visitors are invited to attend live performances between the 20th and 22nd of April held three times daily, at noon, 3pm and 6pm in the Groggia Theatre in Cannaregio, located in one of the few publicly accessible parks in Venice.

The title Zot Konn – Yeman brings together Mauritian Creole and

the Bantu language Fang, merging the two African languages spoken by Bayjoo and Faubert’s ancestors. Translated as ‘they know – the wise’ the title refers to a collective questioning of existing systems of knowledge and an active pursuit of wisdom. The works in the installation feature still and moving images captured by Bayjoo of plants, archives and architectures found at Kew Gardens in London during a period of research that sought to interrogate the transplantation of species from Mauritius to the UK during colonial rule and their current place in the nation’s archives.

Bayjoo and Faubert have developed a five-chapter dance piece which is an unfolding bodily engagement with these plants, a navigation of the glass houses that hold them, and a response to the magnitude of such a collection. Faubert takes up the role of negotiator, tracing and moving with these dislocated plants and objects. Mthembu will respond to the installation through song, which will be performed live alongside a soundscape developed in collaboration with Nobuhle Ashanti. 

Together, these visual, spatial and sonic elements explore the emotional resonance and symbolism of these institutions and the practices of extraction and knowledge production upon which they are built.

The presentation of Zot Konn – Yemen in the Groggia Theatre in Venice alludes to the relationships between entertainment, the act of collecting, and the circulation of knowledge in the formation and preservation of Empires.

Courtesy ICF

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