Today Kemang Wa Lehulere lives between Johannesburg and Cape Town and is one of the most important representatives of a new generation of South African artists who work in all different kinds of genres and media in order to develop new artistic perspectives and narrative modes, as well as new forms of political action.
He realizes his performances, videos, installations, and chalk drawings, which are based on extensive research, as a solo artist whilst continuing with collaborative work. This includes projects with the exhibition platform and collective Center for Historical Reenactments which was established in 2010. Before that he cofounded and worked with the Cape Town based artist group Gugulective from 2006.
Wa Lehulere’s works often have a focus on black South African history, re-looking and re-imagining the archive of narratives relating to black artists, musicians and authors in an attempt to prevent their work and lives from sinking into oblivion.
Kemang Wa Lehulere has taken part in numerous international group exhibitions, including the 8th Berlin Biennale (2014), the 2nd Triennial of the New Museum in New York (2012), and the 11th Biennale de Lyon (2011). Back in 2013-14, drawings by the artist from the Deutsche Bank Collection were shown at the Deutsche Bank KunstHalle as part of the exhibition project The Circle Walked Casually. In 2015, he received the Standard Bank Young Artist for the visual arts. Starting on April 16, his art will be represented at the EVA International in Limerick City, Ireland, and as of May 3 at the 12th Dak’Art Biennale in Dakar, Senegal.
After Wangechi Mutu, Yto Barrada, Roman Ondák, Imran Qureshi, Victor Man, Koki Tanaka, and Basim Magdy, Kemang Wa Lehulere is now Deutsche Bank’s 8th international “Artist of the Year.” The award is given on the recommendation of the Deutsche Bank Global Art Advisory Council which consists of the renowned curators Okwui Enwezor, Hou Hanru, Udo Kittelmann, and Victoria Noorthoorn. The award goes to a contemporary artist who has created an artistically, as well as socially relevant, oeuvre, one integrating the media of paper and photography – the two main areas of focus of the Deutsche Bank Collection.
Curator: Britta Färber, Chief Curator, Deutsche Bank Art
Kemang Wa Lehulere and the artist and curator Gabi Ngcobo have been closely connected for years. In 2010, they founded the “Center for Historical Reenactments” (CHR) in Johannesburg along with other artists. Gabi Ngcobo is the artistic director of the 10th Berlin Biennale, cofounder of the platform NGO – Nothing Gets Organised, and lecturer at the Wits School of Arts in Johannesburg. The talk focuses on Wa Lehulere’s work and gives insight into South Africa’s contemporary art scene. In English
Kemang Wa Lehulere produced the “bird song album” in collaboration with the free jazz musician Mandla Mlangeni. Besides the two South African artists, Sebastian Schuster (Bass), Christoph Heckeler (Piano), and Thomas Wörle (Drummer) will perform the songs live in the exhibition. Drinks will be served in the KunstHalle’s ArtCafe.
“How to Fix the Art World” – Paneldiscussion
17th Mai, 2017, 7.00 p.m., Deutsche Bank KunstHalle
Natasha Ginwala, curator of Contour Biennale 8 and curatorial advisor for documenta 14, Alya Sebti, Director ifa-Galerie, Berlin, as well as Syafiatudina, curator and co-director of KUNCI Cultural Studies Center in Yogyakarta, Indonesia in conversation with Yvette Mutumba and Julia Grosse, the editors in chief of the platform Contemporary And (C&), on the global art scene and how the current tendencies influence their work.