Watery Thoughts
Hugo Mir-Valette, Josèfa Ntjam

The monsters are us and me, we like to think of the clangor that the sight of our bodies will make in minds that are a bit over-carved with normality. We have failed, we will say. I believe rather that the sea has restored to history what it never wanted to listen to. Our wave-shaped bodies are now unleashed in an ocean of half-fulfilled determinations. For a long time, I rubbed shoulders with the abyss, a morality stranded in the hollow of a seashell softened by the marshes. It is in the darkness of this at times baneful world that I learned to recognize the sounds that still sway my nights.

Josèfa Ntjam is an artist, performer and writer whose practice combines sculpture, photomontage, film and sound. Gleaning the raw material of her work from the internet and books on natural sciences, Ntjam uses assemblage as a method to deconstruct the grand narratives underlying hegemonic discourses on origin, identity and race. Her work weaves multiple narratives drawn from investigations into historical events, scientific functions and philosophical concepts, which she confronts with references to African mythology, ancestral rituals, religious symbolism and science-fiction. In her utopian cartographies, technological fantasy, intergalactic voyages and hypothetical underwater civilisations become the matrix for a practice of emancipation that promotes the emergence of inclusive, processual and resilient communities. Ntjam was born in 1992 in Metz, France and currently lives and works in Saint-Étienne, France. Her work and performances have been shown in international exhibitions including Drift: Art and Dark Matter, Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Kingston, Ontario, Canada (in collaboration with the Arthur B. McDonald Canadian Astroparticle Physics Research Institute and SNOLAB, 2021); Anticorps, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2020; Paysages alentour, Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2020; Risquons-tout, WIELS, Brussels, 2020 and 15th Biennale de Lyon, 2019 among many others.

Hugo Mir-Valette is a sound artist, producer and DJ based in Marseilles. His work experiments are open artistic objects anchored in the present emerging through collaborations or introspection. He uses sound and technologies as a fertile soil to cultivate and share. His interactive and sympoietic soundscapes are intents to transcend frontiers and due dates by focusing on respect and sharing in the knowledge of self. Mir-Valette was born in 1989 in Montauban, France. He is an auto-didact who began working as a producer on Dado Records (founded by John Beltran) before co-founding the project Apolatl between France and Mexico (2016–19). His sound installations and performances have been shown in collective exhibitions and performances including Confessions Nocturnes, Festival Parallèle, Marseilles, 2022; A plusieurs, Frac Lorraine, Metz, 2021 and La texture du maquis, SOMA, Marseilles. He regularly collaborates with Josèfa Ntjam.