The institution of the ethnological museum or world museum seems to be in
the midst of a serious crisis of choking. The delicacies that most of
these museums have acquired, which is to say co-opted, which is to say
ingested, seem to have collectively missed the track to the oesophagus and
got stuck in the respiratory tract. They have been stuck there for as long
as the history of mass collections, acquisitions and looting, for as long
as the ruthless and ongoing extraction of cultural property has occurred
in the former colonies outside of Europe.
A twelve-act essay on the maintenance of supremacy, the ethnological
Museum and the intricacies of the Humboldt Forum.
First published in the tenth issue (summer/fall 2018) of the journal South as a State of Mind.
Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung (born 1977 in Yaoundé, Cameroon, lives and
works in Berlin) is an independent art curator, art critic, author and
biotechnologist. He is founder and artistic director of SAVVY Contemporary
Berlin and editor-in-chief of SAVVY Journal
for critical texts
on contemporary African
art. He was associate professor at Muthesius University Kiel, and is
currently guest professor in curatorial studies at the Städelschule in
Frankfurt. He was curator-at-large for documenta 14, and was a guest
curator of the 2018 Dak'Art Biennale in Senegal. As part of the Miracle
, he curated the Finnish Pavilion at the Venice
Biennale in 2019.