Delay and Encounter and/or Other Proximate Unknowns

From: NGO Nothing Gets Organised
To: Foundation for Contemporary Art-Ghana

November 23, 2023 – January 14, 2024

ACCRA | Following the debut OtherNetwork exhibition curated by Foundation for Contemporary Art-Ghana at ifa Gallery Stuttgart in 2022, the curatorial project continues in the form of a relay. For the second iteration, FCA-Ghana have invited NGO–Nothing Gets Organised from Johannesburg to guest curate an exhibition at their own space in Accra. The project ‘Delay and Encounter and/or Other Proximate Unknowns’ enters a dialogue with the figure of W.E.B. Du Bois, whose final home and resting place is the site of the exhibition.

Jabu Arnell The Black Outside (Shaded Feelings): Love and Death. Photo: Colin Keays
Jabu Arnell The Black Outside (Shaded Feelings): Love and Death. Photo: Colin Keays

Grappling with a certain intimate disorganisation within the conditions of the Black Outside, the curatorial project Delay and Encounter and/or Other Proximate Unknowns brings together six artistic positions that think about sonicity and Black study, built environments and spatial discourse, ecologies, processes of collectivity and archiving. From this vantage point, outside denotes a particular spatio-temporal disposition. The Black Outside can thus be understood as a paradoxical assemblage of malleable and contingent forms of being, doing, occupying, and inhabiting. 1One can think of being outside with or outside of a thing or being, and similarly the state of being either from or of the outside. Being outside of within this context implies a certain dis-identification.

Speculating with and alongside the figure of W.E.B. Du Bois, the exhibition is configured around three reparative propositions imagined as blueprints for a poetics of the imminent unknown:

A Collective Assemblage of Enunciation 2In thinking of and with voice, one is beleaguered by its intonations, the varied rhythms that impel us elsewhere, its shifting and plural inflections, as well as its sentiment from one body to another. Within this moment of collective meeting, we bring together a kaleidoscope of heterogeneous sentiments whose performances are never resolved.
Affirmative Sabotage as Method 3Can we possibly give credence to and venerate the interlude sometimes?
Feeling for the Wall after Collapse 4What are the particularities of Black Feelings? Feeling Black as both a rejoinder and form of refusal.

The project includes responses from internationally-based artists and collectives including Ola Hassanain, Jabu Arnell, Nii Noi Nortey, Luana Vitra, Natalie Paneng and room19isaFactory. Delay and Encounter and/or Other Proximate Unknowns is curated by Sinethemba Twalo for Nothing Gets Organised - NGO (Johannesburg, South Africa) in conversation with the Foundation for Contemporary Art Ghana. The project is initiated within the context of OtherNetwork, a collaborative project that connects independent art spaces worldwide.

Lounge (verb)


Installation (2023), various household items.

The domestic lounge acts as a living archive that holds a range of artefacts–or members–that allow the lounge to operate as a microcosm of the socio-cultural ecosystem of a home. In settler colonial cities, the migrant labour class are typically assigned living spaces that are crowded and only allow for pragmatic household practices. The resultant inability to unpack one’s belongings, accommodate family, or perform rituals of selfhood and community are critical spatial consequences that maintain unsettleable conditions. Despite such spatial sabotage, productions of lounging have come to embody determinations to settle and establish belonging and joy, despite state efforts to ensure temporality, unease, precarity, and non-belonging. The central wall unit acts as the anchor structural member that both demarcates space and provides storage. Through this, lounging as a verb overrides the absence of the lounge as a noun to offer a mise-en-scéne that holds multiple conditions of time–past, present and future–simultaneously.

Photo: Ivy Gbeze / FCA Ghana
Photo: Ivy Gbeze / FCA Ghana


Luana Vitra

Mixed Media Installation (2023) Iron ore, lead, copper and fabric samples

Luana Vitra’s work is driven by subjective equations of mineral communication. Within these equations, which situate her understanding of the mineral kingdom in parallel with her own existence, she understands iron as black skin, copper as communication and affectivity, and lead as gravity. She has currently produced works devoted to mineral spirits, and ‘Sublimation’ is a gesture of continuity in these investigations that lie between matter and spirit.

Photo: FCA Ghana
Photo: FCA Ghana

Tell The Water What The Clay Kept Secret

Ola Hassanain

Mixed Media Installation 2023 with Video essay, The Line That Follows, 11mins 2022

Tell The Water What The Clay Kept Secret is ongoing visual research that grapples extensively with the spatial implications of catastrophe. Conceptualised from an ongoing poetics of space-making, the work interrogates sculptural abstraction and various ecologies of inhabiting. In the artistic provocation, Ola Hassanain hones in on an intimate and familiar ‘site of catastrophe’ – her grandmother’s house. This undertaking is done with a certain obstinacy in order to narrativise the ecological dilemmas that foreclose the possibility of inhabitation. Yuma Haram’s house sits amidst the architectonic structures of water control within the Gezira scheme in Sudan, a network of canals of irrigation and slopes also commonly referred to as the breadbasket of the world. In this presentation, the artist both entangles and works with her grandmother’s political aspirations in order to symbolically preserve this intimate structure – embodied in her calls to “watch the cracks” – with fellow women through history who have made audible demands against imperial projects. What does one make of all these floating, fleeting and/or transitory calls against ecological emptying – as the catastrophes continue. How do we amplify, thereby applying actions to the incessant call to keep what matters to us.

Photo: Ivy Gbeze/FCA Ghana
Photo: Ivy Gbeze/FCA Ghana

Searching The Below and Skies; Carrying The Data Across; Energy is Everything

Natalie Penang

Searching The Below and Skies (2023) Video, 02mins46
Carrying The Data Across (2023) Video, 02mins19
ENERGY IS EVERYTHING (2023) Video 04mins35

An acknowledgement of the skies, the below, the data, the space between and the energy used to transmute – these three pieces share knowledge and visualisations of the quest of a shapeshifting deity. The works explore the journeys the deity takes in order to bring things to life, to transmute energy, to tap into source and to carry knowledge across space. Her quest is grounded yet undefined, she acknowledges the screen, the viewer and most importantly the digital magic that allows her to tap into nature and technology. Her mind is a time-travelling machine which allows her to be both past and present, combining multiple knowledge systems in order to share moments of her quest on screen. She shapeshifts in order to hold the attention of the viewer, aware that attention is something we can no longer hold. She makes her quest known through these visualisations. Through her actions, she reminds us of what it means to look, to be, to hover through space and to search for ourselves within the realms of the physical and digital.

Photo: Ivy Gbeze/FCA Ghana
Photo: Ivy Gbeze/FCA Ghana

The Middle Passage

Nii Noi Nortey

Mixed Media Installation (2023) handmade musical instruments with performance.

Over 400 years ago Africans were kidnapped, brutalised and marched over vast stretches of land into forts and dungeons. Many died on the way. Later, they were shipped to the Caribbean and the Americas to toil on plantations, mines and in factories. From the European forts and across the Atlantic Ocean to the intended destination, is what’s commonly referred to as the Middle Passage. Nii Noi Nortey’s performance is an attempt to capture the depths, agony, fury and violence of these transatlantic crossings in sound. It employs techniques in improvised music on homemade instruments. There is also an array of conch shells, pipes, chains, strings, voices, drums and bells. The roar of the Atlantic is echoed through vessels and receptacles of blue and red coloured water. This is suggestive of the blood, sweat and tears of the captives, and painfully evokes the long and bitter experiences of that ignoble trade. Through the music, submission is transformed into a pervasive sense of resistance, insurrection, revolt and liberation.

Photo: FCA Ghana
Photo: FCA Ghana

The Black Outside (Shaded Feelings): Love and Death

Jabu Arnell with an intervention by Azabili

Mixed Media Installation (2023) various locally sourced materials

It’s more than a feeling.

Photo: Ivy Gbeze / FCA Ghana
Photo: Ivy Gbeze / FCA Ghana

NGO - Nothing Gets Organised

  • Curator
    Sinethemba Twalo
  • NGO Team
    Dineo Seshee Bopape, Gabi Ngcobo, Sinethemba Twalo, Jabu Arnell
  • Administrator


  • Co-Directors
  • Project Assistant
  • FCA Team
    Abbey IT-A, Ian Kwakye, Franklin Yohuno, Kimithi Agbanu, Maame Adjoa Ohemeng, Franklin Agbanator, Moses Adjei, Setor Mensah, George Opoku Junior, Dennis Nii Ankamah Addo
  • Photography & Videography
    Ivy Gbeze, Abass Ismail, Nii Odzenma
  • Construction & Installation
    Livingston Agbee, Emmanuel Quansah, Emmanuel Amponsah, Kojo Ofori, Kumi Dodzie, Litmus (Prince Brutus Quarshie)
  • Cleaning Services
    Abigail Wumbe, Sylvia Emmanuel, Misty Mo
  • Press
    Cinctamore Limited, Lloyd Concepts
  • Catering
    Roots Flavours
  • Thanks to
    The W.E.B. DuBois Centre