Lungiswa Gqunta is a visual artist working in performance, printmaking, sculpture and installation. She 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 a 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 narratives 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.
Gqunta has attended the Gasworks Residency, London; Women on Aeroplanes workshop, Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos, and the Nirox residency, Cradle of Humankind in 2018. In addition to her independent practice, Gqunta is one of the founding members of iQhiya, with whom she participated in Documenta 14 and Glasgow International.
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