Trust and Alliances

Xavier Robles de Medina & Mathias Lempart

“We do have a future and a past, but the future takes the form of a circle expanding in all directions and the past is not surpassed but revisited, repeated, surrounded, protected, recombined, reinterpreted and reshuffled.” Bruno Latour

If we consider an alliance between two or several parties, as a relationship that’s formed and maintained over an extended period of time, then it is constructive to entertain an analogy between Latour’s idea of time, and the care required for an alliance to thrive.

Firstly, we might consider the cyclicality and repetitive nature of care. For instance in the case of caring for and raising a child. The child does not simply grow because it was conceived—it is at its most fragile and vulnerable at the very beginning of his or her life. So too with relationships or alliances, it is exactly at the beginning that the continual and consistent, disciplined care and maintenance is required most intensely, in order to develop the repetitive rituals between the collaborating partners in crime. Therefore we aim to rehearse methodologies for creating such alliances through care, exchange and love.

This brings to mind the importance of methodologies within relationships: methodologies for forming and strengthening trust where needed; methodo- logies for communication, and forgiveness. Here, the care required for a child, is pseudomorphic to the care that is required within alliances, and in turn analogous to Latour’s notion of cyclical time.

As border dwellers, both born in the year 1990, and raised 8000 km apart (between Malapane and Paramaribo), we will consider the interwoven issues around postcoloniality, transnationality and interdisciplinary practices. During our interactive artist lecture, we will speak from the perspective of collaborators in work and in life, on the consistent and unique challenges of forming and maintaining trust, during a time of intense political havoc. Like an exquisite corpse, we will propose a breaking-down of hierarchies in order to create an alliance between all participating MM-U parties. Also, we are refuting the established monoculture within academic institutions and museums, to arrive at something more tentacular, expansive, and plentiful. As collaborators we will create a graphical recording during the MM-U session that, one way or the other, will document the shared time together and will make itself visible within the squatted venue.

South African academic and head of Archie Mafeje Research Institute (AMRI) Ndlovu-Gatsheni, Sabelo notes when Europeans shifted from a God-centered society to secular thinking during the Enlightenment period, they inaugurated the science of knowability. We will also raise the issue of colonial practices of defining, naming, and archiving, through historically Eurocentric views, and challenge these methodologies preserved within the museum and university platforms, as knowledge-creating and knowledge-limiting platforms. Consequently we will examine its effects on shared experiences between partners, where our metaphorical as well as literal goal is to transcend borders to strengthen our strong belief in plurality of identity and love.