Susan Kooi & Lukas Hoffmann

Text by Sarah Oberrauch

This text in English

The two-part video-series and installation “rn nw prt m hrw. My name is not to say my name“ by Susan Kooi and Lukas Hoffmann addresses the idea of transformation by introducing the ancient Egyptians' Book of the Dead, a loose collection of magic spells and liturgical instructions meant as a guide through the realm of the dead. This reincarnation, however, is not reduced to life after death, but also alludes to specific passages of the book suggesting magic spells for transforming the dead into different beings with the ability to travel back to the realm of the living by day. By uttering the words of the spells, the ontological substance of the signified is transferred to the word. Most chapters of the Book of the Dead begin with the word “ro“, meaning mouth, speech, chapter or spell. This realm of meanings offers insight into the ancient Egyptian belief in the magic powers of words.
Susan Kooi and Lukas Hoffmann met at the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, where they both graduated in 2012. In their collaborative project “rw nw prt m hrw", they explore different chapters of the ancient Egyptian Book of the Death. They have previously exhibited ‘Chapter for making transformations’ at Galerie Fons Welters in 2015 and “Chapter of not letting the body perish” at the Center PLX in Malmö. During their residency at Eau&Gaz the duo explored ‚Chapter for not dying again‘. Hoffmann and Kooi work individually, together and as part of Samet Yilmaz (formerly known as k.i.beyonce).