Introducing OVEREXPOSED resident Devin Hentz
OVEREXPOSED artist-in-residence Devin Hentz is an independent researcher and writer interested in the experience of embodiment in what we choose to wear, and the surrounding global currents at play. With a background in philosophy and a strong interest in theory, the Dakar-based artist is nonetheless adamant about maintaining a physical practice, whether through image-making, styling or collaborating with local tailors. She is passionate about engaging actively with people and their techniques and skills as a way of situating herself in her current context. Hentz is fascinated by Senegal’s extensive infrastructure of tailors and robust fabric trading economy. She sees possibilities to engage with local communities to ‘maintain a route back to certain knowledges’, especially since the global fashion industry is adapting sustainability in an attempt to change as little as possible. On the contrary, Hentz is interested in engaging with ecological thinking to question the worldwide fashion industry’s existence, all while understanding how important it is for the local economies to adopt, for its benefit, the Global North’s terminology. As Hentz cultivates her practice’s core language, she begins to offer answers on how to engage with the long history of colonial extraction of wealth, material and aesthetic. To formulate her thoughts and practice, she borrows strategies from the work of Ursula Biemann, Hiroshima Fujiwara, Nigo, Chimurenga and Joe Ouakam/Issa Samb. In a manner that echoes Biemann’s fondness for long sentences, Hentz articulates fashion imagery as one would typically write an essay: researched, reasoned and conjured. During her Sonic Acts residency – a one-month period of remote artistic research – Hentz will study how garments ‘die’ in Senegal, the fate of second-hand imported clothing not translatable into their new Senegalese context, and why centuries-old Senegalese burial traditions are seen as industrial pollution by the Global North. You can read even more about Devin Hentz’ research in Ecoes, the new periodic magazine from Sonic Acts, which is available now at the Sonic Acts webshop. About OVEREXPOSED OVEREXPOSED aims to create awareness about pollution both in local surroundings and on a planetary scale. Using artistic research as an exploration of the connections between aesthetics, historical materiality and politics, the programme intends to stimulate thought and imagination about necessary steps – both locally and globally – and of course, direct action. The outcomes of the research will be presented in a variety of formats, including text publications, visual journals, and performative or discursive presentations. OVEREXPOSED is part of Re-Imagine Europe, co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.