Grada Kilomba: The Most Beautiful Language

Gallery Avenida da India, Lisbon, Portugal
27 Oct 2017 - 04 Mar 2018

Grada Kilomba, 2017. Photo: Zé de Paiva.

Grada Kilomba, 2017. Photo: Zé de Paiva.

The Most Beautiful Language is Grada Kilomba’s first major solo exhibition, bringing her transdisciplinary and singular practice of giving body, voice, and image to her own texts, using video installation, staged reading, performance, text collage, and sound installation together in one space.

Often told that her mother tongue is ‘the most beautiful language’, the Portuguese artist questions: which bodies can represent that language? And which ‘languages’ do these bodies speak?

With an intense, and precise beauty, Kilomba explores not only the colonial desires and contradictions of dominant narratives, but also unveils a space teemed with new languages. Languages, that reveal the urgent voices of a repressed past and present; and oppose what the artist calls, a ‘double ignorance’: not knowing, and not having to know.

Curated by Gabi Ngcobo, the exhibition features new bodies of work that combine myriad art forms and genres, raising fundamental questions about speaking, silencing, and listening in a post-colonial society. For Kilomba, ‘the most beautiful language’ is the language that speaks one’s own silenced reality.


Curated by Gabi Ngcobo, Creative Production by Moses Leo


Inauguration: Thursday, October 26, 18:00


Grada Kilomba’s work is currently on show at two institutions simultaneously and for the first time in her home country – the EGEAC, Municipal Gallery Av. da Índia and MAAT, Museum for Art, Architecture and Technology with ‘Secrets to Tell’ opening on 8. November 2017 – which include different bodies of work and create a dialogue between both exhibition spaces.



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