Lungiswa Gqunta deconstructs spatial modes of exclusion and oppression by addressing the access to and ownership of land, unravelling multisensory experiences that highlight persistent social imbalances – legacies of both patriarchal dominance and colonialism. She aims to disrupt this status quo with material references to guerrilla tactics and protest: her installations consist of quotidian objects with the potential to become weapons and means to defend in the struggle that opposes the slow violence imposed by oppression in relation to labour, racial, class, and gender inequalities. Specifically catering to context and audience, her works provide positive references and care to people of colour, and impose discomfort, confrontation, and caution in white (cube) spaces. Hereby, Gqunta aims to reassert black people into the landscape, shedding light on sedimented knowledge, and thus creating a site for non-traditional forms of excavation in which discovery and erasure are simultaneously present. More so, she counters the PTSD that haunts society and poses forms of collective healing in which music and female strength play a crucial role. These matters are highly relevant in current times: addressing inequality, land ownership, labour, and the pervasive, ongoing legacies of racism.
Lungiswa Gqunta (b.1990 Gqeberha, South Africa) is an artist working in performance, printmaking, sculpture and installation. She has held the following solo exhibitions: Sleep In Witness, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds (2022); Tending to the Harvest of Dreams, Museum of Modern Art, Frankfurt (2021); Lungiswa Gqunta (2019), Apalazzo Gallery, Brescia, Italy; Qwitha (2018), WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town; Poolside Conversations (2017), Kelder Projects, London; and Qokobe (2016), WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town.
Noteworthy group exhibitions include “…”, TROPEZ at Sommerbad Humboldthain, Berlin, Germany (2022); Ubuntu a Lucid Dream, Palais de Tokyo, Paris ( 2021); On the Necessity of Gardening, Centraal Museum, Utrecht (2021); Mercusol Biennale Brazil (2020); The Faculty of Sensing, Kunstverein Braunschwe, Germany (2020); Living Forgiving Remembering, Museum Arnheim, Netherlands (2020); Garden of Earthly Delights, Gropius Bau, Berlin (2019); NOT A SINGLE STORY II, Wanas Konst Museum (2018); The Planetary Garden, Cultivating Coexistence, Manifesta Biennial 12, Palermo (2018) the 15th Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul, Turkey (2017) and Documenta 14 Athens.
Her work forms part of the public collections of the Kunsthaus Museum, Zurich ,KADIST, Paris, Museum of Modern Art Frankfurt, Centraal Museum Utrecht, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, The University of Cape Town and Zeitz MOCAA Cape Town.
Gqunta has been an artist in residence at the Rjiksakademie, Amsterdam, Gasworks, London and is currently preparing for a research residency with Dumberton Oaks, Washington DC.