The research-based practice of Kapwani Kiwanga uses installation, sculpture, performance as well as video and sound pieces to explore the relationships between historical and material narratives, systems of power, and the role of the archive within contemporary contexts. Kiwanga’s practice inquires through material and immaterial proposals and invites the viewer to see things from various angles. Her video, Vumbi (2012), looks at gestures of repetition and care as they relate to one’s relationship to land and a sense of place. Shot in Tanzania, this durational work shows the artist meticulously cleaning the leaves of a wall of vegetation covered in orange-copper dust. While cleaning one leaf at a time, Kiwanga reveals the landscape of a place and its daily activity and gestures that so often can go unnoticed and deemed mundane. While making the green of the leaves a visible and tangible manifestation of the present, the artist also asked how one’s presence can address questions of ownership and belonging but also, performance and action at the center of an ongoing act of discovery.
This video has been selected as part of a programmatic take-over by independent curator Daisy Desrosiers.