Chirurgie Esthétique and IN//OUT

Presentation of two Videoworks

By Elisabeth Bakambamba Tambwe

Chirurgie Esthétique



The question of the construction of identity in a society of mass production is at the center of the figural and choreographic work of Elisabeth Bakambamba Tambwe.


Here, the white and inert bodies of chickens have become a puppet to manipulate and distort. Ordinary cadavers raised on antibiotics suffice to represent all the monstrosity of a society that denies the existence of the worst that it produces.


These chickens from laying batteries, tortured and tarted up, punished bodies, pathetic and tragic, recall the Western supremacy which, ever more eager for productivity and immediate satisfaction, seems ever ready to demonstrate its almighty power and give the illusion of an abundance that cannot be stopped.





In current debates on issues such as national identity, citizenship and integration, reflection is often paralysed by the impossibility of thinking beyond the logic of singular social affiliation and the refusal to grant the mixed-cultural, the experience of multiple social affiliation, a political translation.


The ethnic and geographical classifications, the ethnographic and culturalist approaches that confine the productions of African artists living in Europe are ambiguous conditions of visibility and recognition.


Elisabeth Bakambamba Tambwe proposes an ironic deconstruction of exoticism and attempts, in a vise between the global (globalisation and its standards) and the local (the withdrawal into oneself and the colonial legacy of a falsified vision of “tradition”), a decolonisation of artistic criteria.