the program

The artist Joe Sam-Essandoh (photo:

Space installation
AHOOBAA - Dedicated to the Ancestresses and Ancestors
Exhibition opening We 21st June 2017 7 p.m.
Exhibition 22nd June - end of 2017
Talk with the Joe Sam-Essandoh and the curator Hannimari Jokinen
Su 17th September 2017 3 p.m.
Altonaer Museum
Museumstraße 23
Hamburg-Altona (S tube Altona)
Opening hours
Tu - Su 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Entrance fees
EUR 8,50, reduced price EUR 5, groups EUR 6 (in German)
In his space installation AHOOBAA, the Ghanaian artist Joe Sam-Essandoh brings to life mask objects made of diverse discarded materials. His assemblages consist of used and worn-out found objects, traces of luxury delicacies from European breakfast tables, materials from the packaging industry and civilisational trash.
Borrowed from nature are calabash, wild boar tusks, cow and goat horn; from the West African coast, cowrie and coconut shells; as products of Ghanaian artisans, jute rope, wooden combs, Kuba Raffia cloth and wickerwork; referring to the robbed natural resources of Africa, golden surfaces, copper and tin; and remembering the forced and contract labor in the plantations, palm oil seeds, coffee and cocoa beans.
Sam-Essandoh's assemblages point to products and raw materials that are exported from Africa to western countries. They admonish us reminding of the "colonial wares" and of the raw materials that this continent is so rich of and that are, to this day, being plundered by the industrial countries. With eyes open wide, the masks stare back at the viewer, entering into a dialog and questioning what the future holds.
The mask objects will be presented in the Altonaer Museum as an intervention in the permanent collection. Models of ships that sailed from the Altona harbor to the world oceans during the 18th and 19th centuries are displayed in the museum's section on merchant shipping. With Sam-Essandoh's space installation, the museum recalls an important facet of Altona's town and trading history: the participation of Altona shipowners and merchants in the transatlantic trade. The museum sees the intervention as a first step in the pending new conception of its permanent collection where Altona's role in the Danish colonial history has not yet been thematised.
Guest book exhibition AHOOBAA by Joe Sam-Essandoh (in German)
Interview with Joe Sam-Essandoh (in German)
taz, Petra Schellen. 09/11/2017
Das Erbe des Kolonialismus
"Die Kakao-Maske ist ein Protest"



the project

the 2017 program


contact · kontakt













September 2017
Sunday at the
Altonaer Museum
Su 09/17/2017
3 p.m.
Talk with the artist
Joe Sam-Essandoh and the curator
Hannimari Jokinen
(in German)
4 p.m.
Curating the Unspeakable:
The Case of Slavery lecture by Jean-François Manicom, artist and curator
at the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool/UK
(in English)
space installation
exhibition opening
Joe Sam-Essandoh
Altonaer Museum
until 12/31/2017
Program in German language