Pulling Matter from Unknown Sources is an ongoing collaborative project with L’Union des Cultes Traditionels du Togo, founded by Hounon Hounougbo Amedegnato, High Priest of Hèviesso (Deity of Thunder) in Agouegan, Aného,Togo, in 2018. art&dialogue e.V. was founded in 2019 to support UCTT in its demand for restitution of powerful spiritual objects from Western collections. Together we want to address the question of whether and how it is possible to return “museum pieces” to their original status as spiritual objects. What should their new environment offer, and what benefits might this process have for the communities to which these objects return. Throughout this collaboration, artists, scholars, cultural researchers, spiritual dignitaries, political activists, and cultural practitioners talk about, explore, and celebrate their differences and similarities by making space for and sharing spiritual knowledge and narratives. By looking back at past places and times, we hope to open up new possibilities for the present. This project aims to make a small contribution to a series of projects, films, books, and theories that also aim to decolonize thought and deconstruct structures that maintain Western power and privilege.
In January 2020, a Mami Wata sculpture was restituted to UCTT by collector Matti Juhani Karila. In June 2020, construction began on a Mami Wata temple at the Gbébé Cultural Center in Agouegan, Aného, Togo. The next step after the restitution is the activation of the sculpture in 2022.
This project has been shown at
Mathilde ter Heijne and Norbert Witzgall, AFTER THE BUTCHER, Berlin, 2014
Springer nochmals, The Humboldt Lab Dahlem, Berlin, 2015