Disappearances and Disappointments: Strategies for Writing Invisibility into History.
Donna Kukama, Performancekünstlerin, Johannesburg-Berlin
Donna Kukama ist eine südafrikanische Performancekünstlerin, die in ihrer Arbeit die Konstruktion von Geschichten und Wertesystemen hinterfragt. Für Kukama ist Performance eine Strategie, um «undokumentierte» Stimmen eine Präsenz zu verleihen.
Der Austausch im Apéro findet in Englisch und Französisch statt.
The conversation the artist wishes instigate with the public builds on recent performances and actions with, through and against the digital. These performances are creative responses to a pandemic, or rather to the politics of isolation and exclusion, shaping new possibilities of dialogue and exchange.
Donna Kukama’s current work constitutes a history book that is presented as a series of “chapters” taking the form of site-specific public encounters whose intention is not to relive the past, but rather to allow gaps for “comebacks” in the present day. For her World Apero conversation, Kukama will share “Chapter Q: Dem Short-Short Falls”, a memorial work that revisits the site of the 1992 Biljmer Airplane Crash, known as the Bijlmerramp, where a cargo plane that was traveling from the USA to Israel (occupied Palestine) crashed into a high-rise apartment building, affecting a community of foreign nationals living in Amsterdam, most of whom originated from or had links to Suriname, also a former Dutch Colony. Taking its cue from the 1994 Nelson Mandela book title “The Long Walk to Freedom”, “Chapter Q: Dem Short-Short-Falls” is the ‘Question-Chapter’ of the history book. The site of the performance holds two points of significance; The memorial for the victims of Bijlmerramp of 1992 and the Bijlmermeer park which was renamed, in 2014, as the Nelson Mandela park. The site becomes both a metaphorical and literal point of collision, where the artist presents a commemoration of the unrecorded trauma and loss at the point of impact of the crash, while also physically tracing slippages and exposing the gaps in how the ideals of “freedom in a post-colonial society” continues to remain murky.
The conversation the artist wishes to instigate expands on the dysfunctions of “diversity as performance”, while proposing narrative strategies that sit dichotomously between text and performance, presenting multiple voices that self-interrupt and escape linearity in storytelling.“diversity as performance”
Donna Kukama is an interdisciplinary artist whose work is informed by performance-based research processes. Her work resists established ways of doing, often presenting institutions, book chapters, monuments, or historical archives that are as real as they are fictitious. Through performance, video, sound, texts, and non-monuments, her work questions the way in which histories are narrated, as well as how value systems are constructed, often resisting established ‘ways of doing’.
Donna Kukama has exhibited and presented performances at several notable institutions, international museums, and biennales. She was the 2014 recipient of the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Performance Art and was nominated for the MTN New Contemporaries Award (2010) and the Visible Award (as NON NON Collective) in 2011. She has been a lecturer at the Wits School of Arts (University of Witwatersrand) in Johannesburg since 2011, was a guest professor at HBK Braunschweig in Germany (2019-2020), and is currently a PhD candidate at the Transart Institute for creative Research (in collaboration with the Liverpool John Moores University).