I asked Angolan curator Paula Nascimento, who released a magical book looking at the modernist cinemas of Angola last year, to pick one central work in the exhibition.
“It is difficult for me to choose only one piece, but if I had to, I’d choose New Words for Mindelo’s Urban Creole by Irineu Destourelles.”
It is a minimal yet extremely complex piece that uses language as a tool to explore and deconstruct the complexities of identity and social behaviours in colonised countries, as well as its role in the creation of new narratives. The artist creates definitions for invented/imagined words for the creole of the city of Mindelo in Cape Verde, a place that has been through a process of change and adaptation to democracy and to the processes of modern globalisation. The piece reveals the ambivalence of those processes of adaptation and transformation by creating a vocabulary for a set of social behaviours existing in the creole culture but inherited from its colonial past.