Kevin Osepa 'Klof: Bario di Spiritu'

16 October - 5 December 2021
Location: Stroom, Hogewal 1-9, The Hague
Opening: Saturday 16 October, 17:00-20:00
Opening hours: Wednesday - Sunday, 12-17 hrs

Klof: Bario di Spiritu is a multi-media installation about Klof, a tree-lined street in Curaçao. This road is said to be a treacherous place. As a child, Kevin Osepa was told the ghost stories that circulate about Klof. Behind those stories, however, is a history that remains untold: Klof is the location where in 1795 enslaved people revolted, and fought a bloody battle with their Dutch oppressors. Osepa created images and rituals of this charged place, to take back to the Netherlands, where this history of struggle and resistance is buried much deeper in the collective memory. 

The installation at Stroom is a direct reference to the manifestation and disappearance of the ghosts of colonialism. It is a deep reflection on how colonial traumas are passed down, distorting over time, dormant but at times reemerging anew. Through a circuit of videos, lights, and soundscapes in the exhibition space, Osepa casts a protection over the visitors keeping the ghosts of Klof at bay. The exhibition is accompanied by texts by Layo de Palm, a Curaçao-based anthropologist who has written a book of collected stories from the people around Klof. 

Performance event on Friday 26 November
An evening program about and featuring ritual practices with new performances by Eugenie Boon, Travis Geertruida and Guenn Gustina, three young artists responding to the works in the exhibition. More information will follow soon.

Kevin Osepa (Willemstad, 1994) is a visual artist and photographer. He is interested in portraying the Afro­Caribbean identity in a postcolonial world, and explores themes such as Afro­spirituality, sexuality, masculinity, decoloniality and family. His work aims to create a space for these perspectives in order to counterbalance the often one­ sided narrative of colonial history. He has exhibited widely within the Netherlands; as a videographer, he has recently directed the video for Jeangu Macrooy, the Netherlands' representation at the Eurovision Song Contest.
Kevin Osepa is a storyteller indebted to the ritual practices that emerged throughout the Caribbean during the colonial period.

The exhibition of Kevin Ospea is the second in a series of presentations that the Hartwig Art Collection | Production Fund realizes at five Dutch art institutes. In addition to Kevin Osepa, Stroom also features Neo Matloga (4 September - 3 October 2021) and Anna Dasovic (in 2022).

The Hartwig Art Production | Collection Fund was established in 2020 and is part of the Hartwig Art Foundation. The Fund stimulates experimentation and creativity at the highest level. Every year the fund supports a group of artists in the creation of new and ambitious work. The artworks are eventually bought by the Hartwig Art Foundation and donated to the 'Rijkscollectie' (the art collection of the Dutch state). In this way, the fund makes a lasting social contribution. For the Special Project 2020-2021 collaborations have been established with presentation institutions in the Netherlands. Besides Stroom Den Haag (The Hague) presentations by a total of 15 artists can be seen at Kunstinstituut Melly (Rotterdam), Oude Kerk (Amsterdam), Vleeshal (Middelburg) and Casco Art Institute (Utrecht).

The exhibition by Kevin Osepa is made possible by the Hartwig Art Production | Collection Fund, Mondriaan Fund, Forhanna, BredaPhoto, BankGiro Loterij Fonds and the City of The Hague.

Kevin Osepa, 'Baile', performance, 2021
photo: courtesy the artist
Kevin Osepa, 'Kabei a hole kachu'
photo: courtesy the artist
Kevin Osepa, 'Kokolishi kalakuna'
photo: courtesy the artist
Banner Hartwig Art Foundation
photo: design: Lydienne Albertoe