Centimetre after centimetre, green, orange, and purple strips of cloth are tightly wound around the shiny, cold wire. Only the barbs pierce the cloth cladding from within again and again like clear and brutal rays. Distributed throughout the room, the coloured tangles of steel form an expansive green garden landscape from which purple and orange fields sprout here and there. Round and geometric basins ending in rust spread out amongst them like lakes on a wide, parched plain. Above them hovers the sweet and tangy fragrance of burnt imphepho. Words sound out – rhythmic, soft, muted, chirruping, clicking, and clacking – in a still-drowsy attempt to describe the nocturnal dream in isiXhosa.
In ‘Tending to the harvest of dreams’, the South African artist Lungiswa Gqunta poses the question of colonialism’s continued impact thirty years after the supposed end of apartheid. How can one pick up the thread of one’s own relationship to nature, the centuries-old traditions and knowledge that lie within one but speak to one only in dreams? How can one find and carry on one’s identity, of which one was robbed bit by bit, also through land seizure?
‘Tending to the harvest of dreams’ is the first institutional solo exhibition to feature Lungiswa Gqunta worldwide. The exhibition will be on view from the 21st of August 2021.