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Plato's Cave

Samson Kambalu


Plato's Cave, 2019, by Samson Kambalu, f 1975 (Malawi), Digital video, 58 sec, in the Cabinet Room.

Samson Kambalu is a researcher, author, filmmaker and above all a visual artist. His films and installations reveal a profound interest in mixing and blurring different cultures and histories. Kambalu’s practice is rooted in everyday life and counteracts every capitalist (and art market-oriented) system. He selflessly shares the films or images he creates online, thereby making them freely accessible to everyone. Kambalu draws inspiration from Malawi, where there is a strong Nyau culture that focuses on ‘giving’. “As soon as our basic needs are met and there is ‘time’ to spare, those hours should be wasted in the most glorious way imaginable: through creativity and play. Loosing time is a form of ‘giving’ and, at its best, also creates intimacy. Unlike commodities, which only create distance between people.” In his analysis of Nyau culture, Kambalu sees parallels with the way in which the Situationist International battled cold capitalism and promoted the potlatch, or generous donation.