Exhibition | Breaking Waves

During Amsterdam Art Week, Framer Framed presents the exhibition Breaking Waves by artist Clara Jo, who has been Atelier KITLV-Framer Framed artist in residence for the past year.

Through a story about epidemiological and maritime movement, Breaking Waves subverts concepts of colonial erasure and questions our collective imaginations during global crises. The exhibition is open from 29 May until 14 July 2024.


Clara Jo’s research explores the myths and political entanglements around the distribution of disease across the Afrasian Sea (Indian Ocean), often recounted in ways that protect an imperialist narrative. She studies historical erasure in the collective memory during states of quarantine, emphasising its environmental effects, and examines how dominant narratives emerge and influence the collective imagination during times of crisis.


Part of Breaking Waves is the fictional documentary Nests of Basalt, Nests of Wood. Combining animation with filmed footage, the work illuminates damage done to the island landscape, highlighting the human capacity to forget and favouring censored versions of the past. The film is narrated from the viewpoint of the Paille-en-queue bird, who inherited its history through oral accounts from its ancestors and brings attention to colonial histories and forced displacement across the Afrasian Sea.

The exhibition marks the Dutch premiere of the film Nests of Basalt, Nests of Wood. The film will be screended at KITLV on 31 May at 15.00. Alongside the film is the first public presentation of new work produced during Clara Jo’s research at the KITLV archive.


On 1 June | 14:00 — 16:00, the artist will organise a guided tour and a workshop about her research on archival materials.

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