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7 Sam-Hopkins

Sam Hopkins

Dead insects in my parents pool

Installation, Iwalewahaus, 2015

Sam Hopkins is an artist and curator from Nairobi, Kenya. In 2015 he oversaw a project at the Iwlewa House that focused on opening up the archive. The archive at the Iwlewahaus is normally only used by academics. Sam Hopkins wants the sources of an institution like the Iwlewahaus to be available to a wider public. Participation is an important keyword for his work. Participation in knowledge and culture is what he is committed to at the Iwalewahaus.

The installation "Dead insects in my parents' swimming pool" consists of 49 small square light boxes, each with a photograph. They are beetles and flying insects floating on water, drowned in the swimming pool referred to in the title. At first glance, they look almost like scientific specimens. They are not surrounded by plants or nature and seem carefully and obviously composed.

The title leads us to the history of the installation. In Kenya, Sam Hopkins' home country, many people have difficult access to drinking water. Yet even here there are people who have enough water to fill a large basin with. Sam Hopkins does not work with the images shown in the press to draw attention to this problem. It is not a narrative of poverty and wealth in stark contrast. Instead, it is a look at a seemingly inconsequential detail that he magnifies.

Sam Hopkins says: "Are these documentary photographs? On the one hand, I would say yes; they are the result of careful observation of an environment. And they are images that document very specific dimensions of this world. On the other hand, the relationship between these images and the history they refer to is not so clear-cut."

Verantwortlich für die Redaktion: Philipp Schramm

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