Kapwani Kiwanga, The worlds we tell: Threshold, 2022. Installation view, Fundação Serralves – Museu de Arte Contemporânea. Photo: Filipe Braga, 2023.
The Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art presents a new exhibition of the Canadian and French artist Kapwani Kiwanga (Hamilton, Canada, 1978), the artist´s first solo exhibition in Portugal. This important exhibition occupies the central room of Serralves Museum and continues the museum´s program of exhibitions by internationally acclaimed artists that explore the unique context of Serralves.
Kapwani Kiwanga’s artistic practice, which began in the mid-2000s, is rooted in extensive research relating to the humanities and social sciences, and takes the form of complex installations, sculptures, videos and performances. In 2018, she received both the inaugural Frieze Artist Award (USA) and the Sobey Art Award (Canada); in 2020 she won the Prix Marcel Duchamp (France); in 2024 she will represent Canada at the 60th Venice Biennale.
Kiwanga’s rigorous investigation and imaginative approach confronts audiences with a deft interest in materials and elemental structures of power. As a trained anthropologist and a social scientist, she occupies the role of a researcher in her projects. She focuses on the periphery of narratives on underrepresented histories and is particularly interested in issues involving historical and contemporary power imbalances. Most of her works, trace the pervasive impact of power asymmetries by placing historic narratives in dialogue with contemporary realities, the archive, and tomorrow’s possibilities.
For the Serralves exhibition, Kiwanga has created a large-scale and immersive installation, with approx. 14.000 mts of vibrant colored cotton ropes. The natural light from the skylight and the large window punctuate the gallery’s architecture, becoming prominent in this intricate multilayered structure, where superposition and transparency are vital elements of the ensemble. The visitor is confronted by a large floor sculpture from the on-going project The worlds we tell: Threshold, displayed on the room’s lower level. A group of four new ceramic panels, were commissioned for this presentation.
The exhibition is organized by Fundação the Serralves – Museum of Contemporary Art and is curated by Filipa Loureiro.