Thursday, 27.05.2021

New Chapter for 'History Book'

Donna Kukama


My current practice involves the creation of a History Book. The book writes itself by shifting between storytelling, public announcements, noise, performative monuments, and proposed ‘ways of existing’. As a gesture, it is a search for vocabularies that have always existed but remain 'marginalized'. It considers existence as a tool for writing and applies breath as a grammar that speaks for that which is always present, yet invisible. Previous chapters have mostly revisited sites of violence (physical/discursive, personal/public) directed at and experienced by bodies that do not occupy a “centre stage" in conventional History books. The overall intention is not to relive the past, but rather to allow gaps for unpredictable "comebacks" in the form of islands for healing through actively remembering.



Donna Kukama is a transdisciplinary artist and creative researcher whose

practice presents institutions, books, monuments, gestures of protest, and

economies that are as real as they are fictitious. Shifting between

performance, video, text, sound, and multimedia installations, her practice

takes on a form that is experimental, with the aim to subvert how histories and

value systems are constructed. Kukama acquired a Masters of Arts in the

Public Sphere from the Ecole Cantonale d'Arts du Valais in Switzerland in

2008 and is currently a PhD candidate at the Transart Institute and Liverpool

John Moores University. She has exhibited and presented performances at

several notable institutions and museums, including the Nottingham

Contemporary in Nottingham, Kunsthal KaDe in Amersfoort, Padiglione

de'Arte Contemporanea Milano in Milan, South African National Gallery in

Cape Town, Museum of Modern Art in Antwerp, Tate Modern in London,

nGbK in Berlin, and the New Museum in New York. She was recently a guest

professor at the HBK Braunschweig (2019-2020) and has worked as a faculty

member in the Department of Visual Arts at the Wits School of Arts (University

of Witwatersrand) since 2011. She currently lives and works between Berlin

and Johannesburg.