Lungiswa Gqunta



About

Lungiswa Gqunta (b.1990 Gqeberha, South Africa) is an artist working in performance, printmaking, sculpture and installation. 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. Gqunta has been mentored by Dr Nomusa Makhubu and Nonzwakazi Nomacamagu Persent.

Lungiswa Gqunta has held the following solo exhibitions: Sleep In Witness, WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town (2023), 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 Ann Die Horizon with the Centraal Museum Utrecht (2023), Soil Conversations, Galerie im Körnerpark, Berlin, Germany (2023); The Butterfly Affect, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Torino, Italy (2023); ANGST / FEAR – Crisis Indicator or Survival Instinct?, Künstlerverein Walkmühle, Wiesbaden, Germany (2023); Aan de horizon | Een zomerse reis door de kunsten, Centraal Museum, Utrecht, Netherlands (2023); uMoya: The Sacred Return of Lost Things, Liverpool Biennial (2023); Terra Incognita, AKINCI, Amsterdam (2022); “…”, 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 Dumberton Oaks, Washington DC.

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2023 Sleep In Witness, Akinci, Amsterdam
Sleep in Witness - Sleep In Witness, WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town
2022 Sleep In Witness, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, UK
2021 Tending to the harvest of dreams, ZOLLAMTMMK Museum of Modern Art, Frankfurt
2019 Lungiswa Gqunta, Apalazzo Gallery, Brescia, Italy
2018 Qwitha - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town
2017 Poolside Conversations, Kelder Projects, London
Stranger's Location, Michaelis Galleries, Cape Town
2016 Qokobe - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town

Selected Group Exhibitions

2023 Ann Die Horizon, Centraal Museum Utrecht
Soil Conversations, Galerie im Körnerpark, Berlin, Germany
The Butterfly Affect, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Torino, Italy
ANGST / FEAR – Crisis Indicator or Survival Instinct?, Künstlerverein Walkmühle, Wiesbaden, Germany
Aan de horizon | Een zomerse reis door de kunsten, Centraal Museum, Utrecht, Netherlands
uMoya: The Sacred Return of Lost Things, Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool, England
2022 Terra Incognita, AKINCI, Amsterdam
“...”, TROPEZ at Sommerbad Humboldthain, Berlin, Germany
2021 40 under 40, Twee Jonge Gezellen Wine Estate, Krone x WHATIFTHEWORLD, Tulbagh, South Africa
Art Rotterdam 21, AKINCI, Amsterdam
Ubuntu a Lucid Dream, Palais de Tokyo, Paris
On the Necessity of Gardening, Centraal Museum, Utrecht
Rijksakademie Open Studios, Rijks Academy, Amsterdam
Not Angels or Algorithms, Only Human Error - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town
Overview Effect, Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade, Serbia
2020 Living Forgiving Remembering, Museum Arnheim, Netherlands
Bienal 12, Porto Alegre, Brazil
Faculty of Seeing Thinking With, Through, and By Anton Wilhelm Amo, Kunstverein, Braunschweig, Germany
2019 Garden of Earthly Delights, Gropius Bau, Berlin
Heroines Now, AKINCI, Amsterdam
Not a Single Story II, Wanas Konst Museum, Sweden
2018 The Planetary Garden, Cultivating Coexistence, Manifesta Biennial 12, Palermo, Italy
Cut Away, Officine dell'Immagine, Milan
CLOSE: Proximity/Intimacy/Tension, Johannesburg Art Gallery (JAG), Johannesburg
Not a Single Story, Nirox Sculpture Park, Cradle of Humankind
iQhiya, Transmission Gallery, Glasgow International
Unframed, Cape Town Art Fair, Cape Town
2017 All Things Being Equal…, Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town
iQhiya, Documenta 14
15th Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul, Turkey
Everyday Anomaly - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town
2016 Negative Space - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town
iQhiya, The AVA Gallery, Cape Town
New Monuments, Commune.1, Cape Town

Art Fairs

1-54 London 2023
Artissima 2021

Permanent Collections

Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town (South Africa)
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth (South Africa)
University of Cape Town, Cape Town (South Africa)

Kunsthaus, Zurich (Switzerland)