Fara Fara, 2014

Still: Courtesy the artists

Two-channel video installation (transferred from 35 mm film and archive VHS material) color, sound
13 min (videos)
Overall dimensions variable

A music film, shown on a pair of screens installed at diagonally opposite ends of the exhibition space, each one dedicated to one of two “rival” musicians from the Kinshasa music scene. Kinshasa is currently home to one of the world’s most vibrant music scenes. Those outside the African continent, however, tend to associate the Democratic Republic of Congo with war and poverty. In contrast to this biased view, Fara Fara shows the immense power and beauty of Congolese music: two revered musicians, Werrason and Koffi Olomidé, are preparing for a clash concert. There is a long-standing tradition in Congolese music in which two rival musicians perform simultaneously with their respective bands, trying to animate and impress the crowds, which can include more than 150,000 people. The film observes the different characters of the two protagonists—one lives a settled family life while the other is engaged in more materialistic pursuits—and fuels viewers’ expectations regarding the grand finale of the music clash. It examines the individual psychology of the people who spearhead Kinshasa’s music scene, offering insightful observations on the context, history, and political impact of this specific subculture.

Camera: Hoyte von Hoytema Sound: Patrick Strömdahl Ton & Vision: With Papa Wemba, Werrason, Koffi Olomide, Celeo Scram, Bill Clinton and Roitelet

Carsten Höller: *1961 in Brussels, Belgium | Living and working in Stockholm, Sweden
Måns Månsson: *1982 in Stockholm, Sweden | Living and working in Stockholm, Sweden