Bright colours on a wall

Networked Constellations © Vitjitua Ndjiharine

Vitjitua Ndjiharine

Networked Constellations, 2024

Vitjitua Ndjiharine has created a long textile that meanders along the the line where the walls of the ethnographic museum used to stand. This semi-open curtain resembles a permeable border or a floating wallpaper and is decorated with a long, abstract pattern. Endless lines, threads and layers can be read and traced. Visitors follow the logic of a mind game, in which a labyrinth entices them to find their way through it.

With its colourful, branching paths and patterns, Ndjiharine’s installation is inspired by streets, maps, paths and constellations of space and social infrastructure, most of which she finds in Namibia. The artist was already Artist in Residence at Dekoloniale Berlin in 2022 and her curtain is a continuation of an ongoing examination of Gropius Hain in collaboration with Dekoloniale Berlin, focusing on colonial stratifications and the unlearning of the dominant narratives in Berlin’s public space, including the problematic legacy of the Königliches Museum für Völkerkunde. In 2022, the artist installed a series of flags here, archiving the narrative of Black history and resistance in Berlin. At the same time, the FHXB Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg Museum installed a commemorative plaque on the corner of Niederkirchnerstraße and Stresemannstraße as part of its anti-racist reinterpretation of the space.

Networked Constellations merges the imaginary, the symbolic, the playful, the performative, the political, the hidden, the obvious and the intersectional. Ancient textile techniques intertwine with new technology; the curtain moves with the wind and calls for the restitution of meaning and objects. You can search for answers in this labyrinth, you can simply walk through it, and you can cross the boundaries that need to be overcome. As in a game where the players are not necessarily looking for the easiest way to the goal, it is more about the means than the end.

Vitjitua Ndjiharines a multidisciplinary visual artist from Namibia. She develops strategies of deconstructing and re-contextualizing the pedagogical function of texts and images found within colonial archives. She was a resident at Dekoloniale Berlin in 2022 immersing herself in the history of Gropius Hain.