A Tale of Eleven Births / 2019

Lubumbashi Biennale VI / Future Genealogies Tales from the Equatorial Line / Democratic Republic of Congo / Oct-Nov 2019

With pins and threads – in which each pinhead represents an ancestor of both her paternal and maternal lineages and each thread a line of connection – Wendy Morris creates a genealogy of eleven generations. The threads weave the pins together and materialize the kinship of the individuals they embody, forming lace-like entanglements that become increasingly complicated as the generations ascend. This rethreading is a response to the state of natal alienation suggested by Orlando Patterson that ensues when an enslaved person is ripped from both her ancestral forebears and her descendants. The work was made on-site at the Picha studio in Lubumbashi, geographically close to borders of Angola and the region from where Maaij Claesje would have been born. It is both a re-threading of kin and a stitching into place.

Installation of 6 free-standing fabric-covered panels each supporting a pin and thread genealogy. Made on site at the Picha workshop Lubumbashi. Wendy Morris 2019. Assistant: Soleita Kabwasa. Curator: Sandrine Collard. Funding: Flanders State of the Art