Kapwani Kiwanga / Stéphane Malfettes

Monday 18 March 2013 at 7 pm

This new presentation of Partitions (performances) examines the influence of music in collective imagination through two propositions, both the result of long investigation work. One was conducted by Kapwani Kiwanga and focuses on Afrofuturism, a movement that appeared on Detroit’s musical scene with Sun Ra’s musical experimentations, for instance. The other research was carried out by Stéphane Malfettes, who looked into rock’n roll museums in the United States, and more specifically to places devoted to one of its mythical figures, Elvis Presley.


Kapwani Kiwanga / Afrogalactica: A Summary of the Future
Portraying an anthropologist in the future, Kapwani Kiwanga literally teleports us in 2100, a few decades after the constitution of the United States of Africa in 2058, in order to examine the history of the conquest of space in which this federation has since then been engaged. In her conference, she looks back at Afrofuturism and its implication in the development of a hybrid iconography both rooted in the past and projecting itself in a science-fiction future.

Kapwani Kiwanga was born in Canada in a family of Tanzanian immigrants. She currently lives in Paris. For several years, she has been doing research on musician Sun Ra, who claimed extra-terrestrial origins, stating he came from Saturn, and advocated an “astro-black” philosophy. After studies in comparative anthropology and religion at McGill University (Montreal, Canada), Kiwanga directed documentary films for the BBC and Channel 4 in the early 2000s. She then developed an artistic practice borrowing from or diverting scientific methodologies toward alternative realities. She is a graduate of Le Fresnoy and took part in the post-graduate program of the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-arts de Paris, “La Seine.”

Stéphane Malfettes / Elvis Tetralogy
In 2011 Stéphane Malfettes travelled across the American continent, from New York to Seattle to Memphis, the birthplace of rock and Elvis’s hometown, to visit museums devoted to various musical movements in the U.S. In a “stand-up conference” bringing together the university lecture and stand-up comedy, he introduces us to these places, “the ultimate stage[s] in the sanctification of music stars,” where “a microphone stand, a pair of cowboy boots or a hairbrush become national treasures.” For his performance “Elvis Tetralogy,” Malfettes has selected elements attesting to the worship of the rock star by excellence. The King has indeed been raised to the rank of a genuine idol.

Stéphane Malfettes is a programmer for the performing arts at the Louvre museum. He is the author of several essays on aesthetics as well pieces for periodicals Art Press, Volume, Mouvement and special issues of Les Inrockuptibles. His latest book, American Rock Trip (Brussels: Zones Sensibles, 2012), from which a series of performance has been adapted, deals with museums and other peculiarities Americans devote to their musical heritage (blues, rock, country music…). Malfettes is also the co-founder of the “conference house” SuperTalk.

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Stéphane Malfettes

Fondation Pernod Ricard
1 cours Paul Ricard
75008 Paris
Free entrance
Free admission, without reservation