Minia Biabiany I killed the butterfly in my ear


Minia Biabiany
J’ai tué le papillon dans mon oreille
I killed the butterfly in my ear

19 Jun–8 Aug 2021

Minia Biabiany (b. 1988, Guadeloupe) arranges materials, sounds, videos and images to form spacial narratives. These deal with the conflictual and violent stories that have been inscribed into the landscapes of the Guadeloupe archipelago and into the bodies of its people. They tell of the wounds of French colonial rule that bleed into the present, of the plantation economy and slavery, as well as of the contamination of the ecosystem through the use of pesticides in the 1970s.

A particular attention to the nature, use and meaning of materials characterises Biabiany’s practice. The lines of earth piled up across the floor form patterns that recall a traditional weaving technique, used to make fish traps in the Caribbean. In the most literal sense of the words, Biabiany interweaves and entwines tales forgotten in Western historiography; tales of her home country, bound once again in neocolonial relationships of dependency as a department of Overseas France.  

Biabiany attaches decisive importance to movement and intuitive exploration in space, as well as to the sensual and corporeal experience of space, in order to place those overlapping and intermingling narratives in relation. She takes on the task of troubling the dichotomies of ‘nature’ and ‘culture’, ‘subject’ and ‘object’, and of giving voice to other-than-human entities. In this way, connections and dependencies within a territory can be made visible: shells become mediums of communication; dangling coloured chains made of moulded wax and burnt pieces of wood are presented to the wind as votive offerings, said to hold powers of healing and resistance; burned willow baskets resembling boat hulls refer, in their fragility, to ephemerality and defencelessness – to those conditions that can be traced throughout the exhibition in a multitude of languages, voices and images.

Biabiany’s first institutional solo exhibition in Germany has been developed from an earlier show at Le MAGASIN des horizons in Grenoble, 2020.

The artist would like to thank Laboratoire d’Archivage de l’Oralité in Fort-de-France, Martinique.

In cooperation with Le MAGASIN des horizons:


Fri, 18 Jun 2021, 6–10 pm
Opening Night with an Introduction by Heinrich Dietz

Sat, 19 Jun 2021, 3 pm
Artist Talk with Minia Biabiany

Tue, 13 Jul 2021, 7 pm
Freiburg and the German colonial history
Lecture by and Conversation with Dr. Heiko Wegmann

Thu, 22 Jul 2021, 7 pm
Curator’s Tour with Heinrich Dietz

Thu, 5 Aug 2021, 7 pm
Guided Tour with Theresa Rößler