(c) Eva Lenhardt

E.B.T // Biography

Born in 1971 in Kinshasa (DRC), Elisabeth Bakambamba Tambwe grew up in France and pursued artistic studies. In 1998, she obtained the “Diplôme National d’Expression Plastique”, for her work of sculpture, at the School of Fine Arts in Tourcoing, France.

As an artist, choreographer and stage director, she works with a variety of forms of writing: performance, choreography, film, interactive and generative, as well as different dramaturgies and spaces such as installations and stages. She is interested in the emergence of new forms of otherness, and the singular relationships and languages they give rise to. What do they reveal about our humanity, and how do they challenge the notion of anthropocentrism? Her projects are transdisciplinary and collective, and seek to invent shared research spaces between performance art and the social sciences.

Choreography & Performance

The works of Elisabeth Bakambamba Tambwe tend to show the multiplicity of angles of view which imply different perceptions of the same reality. Because consciousness is like the visual field. This is not a framed image seen by a third external eye, it is captured without distance and, although limited (it is impossible for us to see what is happening behind us), it has no edges: limited and yet without “border”. The various scenographic devices used, then allow to scramble the cards, unmask conventions (especially repressed), caress ambiguities and thus stage the many incoherent postures that assail us.

In the last piece, Beyond The Overflow (2023) art does its strip-tease. Body at work, body for sale, worked body. The performer is both an art object and a place crossed by desire: an object of multiple transactions.

Speech of Love : Absence (2022) was inspired by the writings of Roland Barthes to discuss the dichotomous relationship between love and solitude.

Die Revolution des Croissants (2022) glimpses and pokes fun at the connections between two forms of representation: Lecture and political engagement.

Carré Noir (2020) revolves around the body as a place of resistance, turning against preconceived visions and playing with aesthetic, social and political codes and projections,

Jeanne Dark (2019) takes an iconoclastic look at how the figure of the French torturer and martyr is portrayed.

Abstraction (2019) Afflicted by the social environment, the individual is given an identity with birth: name, first name, as well as identity-forming characteristics, such as gender, cultural and social background. This totality forms the universal framework of the enforced identity of the individual. In contrast, Tambwe’s performance is like a caterpillar creeping into a cocoon and reappearing as a grotesque form – a newly invented, abstracted and confused body that allows us new interpretations of its own.

Focus : New Perspectives (2018) is a radical piece. Without a landscape, without a territory to invest or conquer, this black body takes leave of a possible narrative, historical or social climate to simply stick to the mere fact of its presentation. Wuk, Vienna (Austria)

Medical benefits of Musa Paradisiaca (2017) shows our society as it has become: an image factory that feeds on itself. . These images are invading our everyday life; they accumulate in our already information-saturated brains and leech on our thoughts. The images have something ghostly about them, because they pursue us and frighten us, persist, and ultimately survive. How to get rid of them?

Congo Na Chanel (2017) which, in the form of a collage, mixes documentary and fictional material, opening up a multifaceted, unsettling view of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Co-production Wiener Festwochen – with the collaboration of the Dance company La Vème Dimension, Dakar (Senegal) and the support of Kulturabteilung der Stadt Wien and BKA Bundeskanzleramt Osterreich (Austria)

In Pink Eye (2016) Elisabeth Bakambamba Tambwe takes a look at the gaze itself and confronts us with the question: Can you see without looking? Commissioned by Steirischer Herbst (Austria)

In Las Meninas (2016) In stepping through the mirror, the spectators, having become actors, find themselves confronted with the inversion of the rules of the game. Like their original – Velázquez’s famous painting from 1656 –  Las Meninas (The Maids of Honour) call the prevailing conventions into question. The dimensions of the real, the imagined, the virtual and the visible all centre on the question: Who is observing whom?Coproduction Dig-Up Production, Tanzquartier, Viennna (Austria), supported by MA7 Kulturabteillung Der Stadt Wien, Bundeskanzleramt Kunst/Kultur (Austria)

In Flèche (2016) the political dimension of a place often comes to light through land claims. Wars break out in the name of preserving or eliminating a particular border. Borders that only leave behind ideological and subjective traces on Earth. In “Flèche” the body is a compass that helps us to find our way. Time perpetually erases the memories of the Earth, that’s why we cannot really rely on it. In contrast, the body becomes the most important vessel of human memory. Coproduction Dig-Up Production, Donaufestival (Austria)

The fate of factory-farmed chickens is the starting point for Fit-In (2016). These gallinaceans are reminiscent of Western supremacy which, ever more eager for yield and immediate satisfaction, always seems ready to demonstrate its omnipotence linked to mass consumption. Coproduction Dig-up Production, Impulstanz, Vienna (Austria), supported by MUMOK Museum

Symposium (2015) starts at the other end. In reversals, through back entrances, dusty stories that were thought to have been forgotten and repressed memories about bodies and language find their way into a borderless and hybrid theatre/auditorium. Catatonically, stuttering, symptomatically, masturbating, haltingly, in the West and the Rest what has been stored unconsciously empties itself, pointing to traces of colonial violence, registered traumas of diaspora communities between the past and the present. Coproduction Dig-up Production, Tanzquartier, Vienna (Austria), supported by MA7, Vienna (Austria), BMUKK and Long Life Burning (Austria)

Golden Baby (2011) sets the scene for a body. A small nothing, undertaken, analyzed, crossed and recrossed by the individual and collective horror, formed by the interior and outside, surface and transparency, but also by the depth. Coproduction Dig-Up Production, Wuk, Vienna (Austria), supported by MA7, Vienna (Austria)
Don’t Step on my jersey (2010) is an ode to difference. An oblique look at marginality and creation. It’s about sex and sculpture. Production Moving Culture Vidc, Vienna (Austria)

In Anomalic (A body for the eternity of power) (2010), as in any celebration, the installation is built around icons prone to most various interpretations, oscillating between transformism and metamorphoses, even total disappearance. Coproduction Stattsaffaire, Wuk, supported by MA7, Vienna (Austria), with the collaboration of Théâtre Le Garage, Roubaix (France)

React in silence, please (2008) was inspired by the dramatic and sordid events that bloody and defile the bodies of Congolese women in the east of Ex Zaire. In the two Kivus, rape has become a real weapon of war. The militias rape and introduce all kinds of objects into the vagina of women with the obvious aim of destroying them from within but also in order to drive out the populations of the villages of these mineral-rich regions. Turbo Residence 2008 coached by Thierry Bae during the Impulstanz Festival, Vienna (Austria), showed in March 2009 at the Wuk, Vienna (Austria)

Concerto pour Corps Bruyants (2007) is a choreographic piece for three dancers and one actor, coproduced by Le Vivat Théâtre, Armentières (France)

Mon Cœur Balance (2005) is a solo coproduced by La Condition Publique, Lille (France), La Comédie de Béthune (France), Le Théâtre Massenet, Lille (France), presented at festival Julidans, Amsterdam (Pays-Bas)

Frémissements (2003) is a choreographic piece for two dancers, one puppet-master and a musician

La légende de Baki (2002) is a choreographic tale (young audience) for two dancers , two musicians and a taleteller

NO ! (2001) is a creation for five dancers and a musician presented at Lille Grand-Palais (France) during the Afrique en Créations Festival

Petites choses deviendront grandes (2000) is a piece for six dancers and five musicians

Exhibitions & Visual Art

Balance (05 to 07-2022), Garage EVN Sammlung, Vienna (Austria)

Le boudoir (03-2022), Kunstraum Niederoesterreich (Austria)

Forbidden fruit (11 to 12-2022), Soho Studios, Vienna (Austria)

The day I killed elvis (10-2020 to 04-2021), EVN Sammlung (Austria)

Stories of traumatic pasts (10-2020 to 04-2021), Weltmuseum Wien (Austria)

Und schwester makart geht auf wanderschaft (12-2019), Künstlerhaus (Austria)

La philosophie banane (03-2014 ), Weltmuseum Wien (Austria)

Occupy the museum (08-2013 ), Weltmuseum Wien (Austria)

Gooseflesh (07-2012), Impulstanz Festival, Vienna (Austria)

Still life (03-2011 ), VIDC, Vienna (Austria)

The barbie trap (05-2010 ), Soho Ottakring, Vienna (Austria)

Film and Video

Quick Deepy Sweep (2023), Ballhaus Ost Online Festival, Vienna (Austria)

The Mask of the Schwarzen-Löwenbergs (2021), Film Casino, Vienna (Austria)

Running & Curating a Cultural space

In response to the rise of European populist parties, Elisabeth creates in 2017 a multidisciplinary Art Space: Château Rouge. In 2018 she sets up, following an event with Dj Rizo (addressing the question of the inclusion of “the Other”) the concept of “Salon Souterrain”, a platform for discussions mixing different forms and artistic gestures. In 2019, Lena Fankhauser (and her association Music Chamber) joins the Salon Souterrain Project and becomes a partner.

SMS means…(03/11/2023), Chateau Rouge, Vienna (Austria)

Salon Souterrain 2023 : Space / Time (14/11/ 2023), Kunsthalle, Vienna (Austria)

Salon Souterrain 2022: Art, Music & Degustation (and a zest of Love) (10/2022), Château Rouge, Vienna (Austria)

Salon Souterrain 2022: Tummies and Moods (25/11/2022), AIL, Vienna (Austria)

Salon Souterrain 2022: Bodies in Transformation (13/07/2022) MuseumsQuartier – Libelle, Vienna (Austria)

Salon Souterrain 2022 Transformation: Love (1/04/2022), Palais Schönborn-Batthyány, Vienna (Austria)

XX ART Flânerie (18/07/2020), Chateau Rouge, Vienna (Austria)

Salon Souterrain Special Edition: Afro-Cubaine Sensation (27/07/2020), Oswald-Thomas-Platz, Vienna (Austria)

AIL.alternate: Salon Souterrain. Art & Science (17/07/2020), YouTube

Opération NASE !!! (09/03/2019), Chateau Rouge, Vienna (Austria)

Salon Souterrain : Growth (8,9,10/07/2018) , Kulturraum Gleis 21 & Musikverein, Vienna (Austria)

Salon Souterrain, Art & Prostitution :Part II (15/09/2018), Flex Cafe, Vienna (Austria)

Salon Souterrain, Art & Prostitution : part I (2/08/2018), Rote Bar Volkstheater, Vienna (Austria)

Salon Souterrain (11/05/2018), Künstlerhaus, Vienna (Austria)

Workshops with public presentation

La Philosophie banane (05-2012), a workshop with la Cie de l’oiseau-mouche, Roubaix (France)

Marie Antoinette… c’est moi!? (06-2011 ), a workshop with the association The Black Security Company and supported by Schwarze Frauen Community

You, my hero (12 -2010 ), with Schulkollectiv Wahringerstrasse Vienna

J’ai accouché d’un Nègre (05-2010), a workshop with la Cie de l’oiseau-mouche,Roubaix (France)

Ma lumière (07-2008), a workshop during Le Manifeste festival, Grande-Synthe (France)


Symposium: Bridging Bodies, Technology, Theory, and AI for Civic Resistance (10-2023), Universität für angewandte Kunst, Wien

Politics of Invitation #4: Le transit (03-2022) ,FFT, Düsseldorf (Germany)

Reading The Radical w/ Elisabeth Tambwe (10-2020), Res Radio – Soundcloud


Elisabeth Bakambamba Tambwe has collaborated and continues to collaborate with choreographers, visuals artists or directors such as, Robyn Orlin, Peter Kutin and Florian Kindlinger, Monika Gintersdorfer, Esther Stocker, Oleg Solimenko, Faustin Linyekuela, Esther Stocker, Stefan Kaegi, God’s Entertainment, Theater Die Combinate…

She is present at the Festival d’Automne (Paris, France), Vivat d’Armentières (Armentières, France), La Condition Publique (Lille, France), La Cité des Arts (Paris, France), Le Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lille (France), le Théâtre National du Luxembourg (Luxembourg), at the Wienerfestwochen (Austria), Steirisherherbst (Austria), Tanzquartier (Austria), Donaufestival (Austria), Impulstanz (Austria), Welt Museum (Austria), Moving Culture (Austria), VIDC (Austria), Soho Ottakring (Austria)…

The Sound of Musick [sic!] – The Grand and Glorious Party – A Noisical (2023), by Peter Kutin and Florian Kindlinger
Nana kriegt keine Pocken (2022), by Monika Gintersdorfer
Danse Macabre (2021), by Markus Schinwald
Black Box (2021), by Stefan Kaegi
Perfume (2020), by Mirabella Paidamwojo Dziruni, Zion Flex and Eric Vale
Nana ou est-ce que tu connais le Bara ? (2019), by Monika Gintersdorfer
Tarzan (2019), by God’s Entertainment
Les nouveaux Aristocrates (2017), by Monika Gintersdorfer
Approximation linéaire (2017), by Esther Stocker
From the Future (2016), by Esther Stocker
A third step to IDEAL PARADISE (2015), by Claudia Bosse/TheaterCombinat
100 pas presque (2014), by Taoufiq Izzediou
War (2013), by Amanda Piña and de Daniel Zimmermann
In a world full of butterflies, it takes balls to be a caterpillar (2013), by Robyn Orlin
Babysitting Tête de cire (2012), by Robyn Orlin
End of Feminism (04-2012), With Dolce After Ghana in WUK  and DONAU FESTIVAL
… have you hugged, kissed and respected your brown Venus today ? (2011), by Robyn Orlin
Easy come, easy go (2009), by Oleg Soulimenko
Confit de canard (2007), by Robyn Orlin
Radio Okapi (2006), by Faustin Linyekula
Là bas peut-être (2006), by Graciane Finzi with the Orchestre Nationale de Montpellier (France)
La notte bianca (10-2004), by Katina Genero /Cie Kaïdara, Torino (Italy)
SAFARA, il fuoco dei tamburi (10-2004), by Katina Genero /Cie Kaïdara, Torino (Italy)
Boyakodah (07-08-09-2004) by Georges Momboye
Et demain (11-2003) by Serge-Aimé Coulibaly
Aqua Violina (02-1999),  by Anne Selliez