About the project

Carved to Flow was conceived as a support structure actively embedded in the social sphere. It is an intricate, expansive and continually transforming work that seeks to create awareness around the networked geographies, economic histories and affective entanglements that inform the creation of everyday products. The work consists of performance, installation, enterprise and charitable work. At documenta 14 in Athens where it was first presented, it took the form of a soapmaking laboratory installation. In Kassel, it transformed into a sculptural installation composed of a soap I made called O8 Black Stone that was disseminated and sold through performances. The ‘laboratory’ and ‘warehouse’ phases, as these were called, sought to provide audiences with the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the different oils that make up the soap’s primary ingredients, and at the same time reflect on the economic transactions through which these materials are placed in circulation. Currently, in its third phase titled ‘germination’, the work has been redirecting its profits and seeks to attract additional funding to support the activities of two spaces it has set up in Athens and Nigeria which will serve as bases for research and exchange on material entanglements structured around exhibitions, workshops, and events.



On Otobong Nkanga’s Carved to Flow 

About the artist

Otobong Nkanga (born 1974, Kano, Nigeria) lives in Antwerp, Belgium. Through her work, she traces the social and topographical changes of the environment around her, observing the inherent complexities of resources like soil and earth and their potential values in order to provoke narratives and stories about the land. Recent solo shows include To Dig a Hole that Collapses Again, MCA Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, USA and Transition, Mendes Wood DM, Brussels, Belgium.