Jan van Esch ( Netherlands )

The works of mercy tell us to give; Feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, visit the sick, ransom the captive and finally bury the dead. But who can explain how to receive without being snared by the treacherous wonder of the gift?

At ZKU Jan worked through a pile of discarded high-end brand dress shirts, donated as gifts in the west, transformed to merchandise in the south and brought back to Berlin as relics of the international development business. During his residency he took the shirts through several rites of passages in collaboration with Nicolás Concha, which resulted in ongoing performance video installation NIPENIKUPE (give and take in Kiswahili) preparing the shirt to be donated to those who dare to accept. Because as we have known for centuries, every present given always expects one in return.

Next to his work on the Gift, Jan was the curator for the Food and Footage 2019 season