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Lungiswa Gqunta, HATA!, 2016. Reclaimed wood, stones, beer crates. 85 x 73 x 35 cm. Courtesy of WHATIFTHEWORLD Gallery and the artist.

Lungiswa Gqunta, DIVIDER, 2016. Knotted fabric, beer bottles. 210 x 700 x 340 cm. Courtesy of WHATIFTHEWORLD Gallery and the artist.

Lungiswa Gqunta, Feet Under Fire, 2017. Still. Video, Duration 14"54'. Image: Zunis Productions. Courtesy of the artist.

Lungiswa Gqunta, Lawn I, 2017. Wood, 4000 broken Coca Cola glass bottles, petrol, ink. 25.5 x 484 x 366 cm. Courtesy of Google Arts & Culture Istanbul and the artist.

Lungiswa Gqunta’s practice considers the hidden structures of exclusion and oppression that continue to perpetuate the legacy of colonialism and how this is manifested in different forms of violence. Through installations, sculpture and audio-visual work she creates multisensory experiences that articulate social imbalances in an attempt to leave a lasting impression on the viewer. Her work features familiar and domestic objects that are adapted and combined to create tools and weapons for models of mobilisation and agency, engaging in histories of resistance and highlighting black women who have been overlooked in these narratives.  

During her residency at Gasworks Lungiswa plans to further extend the notion of displacement explored in her previous works by creating interventions that evoke and represent some of the physical discomfort experienced as a result of displacement and living in and among violent structures of oppression.  

As part of her residency, Lungiswa will also engage with The Showroom and the London iteration of the international project Women on Aeroplanes, which is being developed together with The Otolith Collective (Kodwo Eshun and Anjalika Sagar). Led by curators Annett Busch, Magdalena Lipska and Marie-Helene Gutberlet, the overarching Women on Aeroplanes project is conceived as five exhibitions at five different spaces in Africa and Europe (2017–19), including ifa-Gallery (Berlin), Centre for Contemporary Art (Lagos), Iwalewahaus (Beyreuth) and The Museum of Modern Art (Warsaw). It will look closely at the largely untold stories of women and the important roles they played in the long history of the struggle for independence by African nations in the 1950s and 60s, as well as in the avant-garde art history of the continent. Through contemporary women’s and feminist voices and art practices, the project will make visible women’s contribution within the context of communities and relations; going far beyond the mere replacement of the heroes of independence with the heroines of liberation.--


Lungiswa Gqunta lives and works in Cape Town. Recent solo exhibitions include Poolside Conversations, Kelder Projects, London; Stranger’s Location, Michaelis Galleries, Cape Town (both 2017); and Qokobe, WHATIFTHEWORLD Gallery, Cape Town (2016). Recent group exhibitions include All Things Being Equal, Zeitz MOCCA, Cape Town; Everyday Anomaly, WHATIFTHEWORLD Gallery, Cape Town; Young Now, Hazard Gallery Istanbul (all 2017); and Negative Space, WHATIFTHEWORLD Gallery, Cape Town (2016).

Lungiswa Gqunta’s residency is supported by Mercedes Vilardell and she is hosted in the Juan Yarur Torres Residency Studio.