Before the Canadian Pavilion for the Venice Biennale, Kapwani Kiwanga will take over the Great Nave of the musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux for an original project conceived in relation to the history of the place, which in the 19th century was a warehouse for colonial goods and became, in 1973, one of the most emblematic sites for contemporary creation in France and abroad.
For the Capc, this invitation was an obvious one. Kapwani Kiwanga’s practice is rooted both in the creation of temporal and spatial openings to modify ways of seeing and interpreting history, and in a marked interest in minimal forms, which are so present in the institution’s history.
Her work is thus rooted in a plurality of little-known or even invisible histories, and deals with systems of power at the local level, as well as the asymmetries intrinsic to their organisation.
Considered one of the most important artists of her generation, her atypical career path has led her from studies in anthropology and comparative religion to documentary film, and finally to the field of contemporary art some ten years ago. Her initial training led her to develop a research-based practice, through which she observes the cultural structures of knowledge and power. Formally, her work appropriates a wide range of materials (sisal, textiles, light, flowers) that symbolically refer to their historical, social and political contexts, to create immersive and sensual site-specific installations.
By using these tangible and intangible materials, which interest the artist as much for their aesthetic properties as for what they symbolise, Kapwani Kiwanga takes us on a reading of the world that is both lucid and dreamlike, in order to sharpen our gaze on certain past and present issues and to try to envisage the future differently.
Curator: Sandra Patron, director of the Capc Musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux
Opening of the exhibition: Thursday 29 June, 7pm
In partnership with the Canadian Cultural Centre