Donna Kukama

Labzone, RDV studio/pratique

Donna Kukama is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice engages performance art as a tool for creative research. Her work presents institutions, history book chapters, monuments, gestures of protest, and memories that are as real as they are constructed. She weaves major with minor aspects of histories, introducing fragile and brief moments of ‘strangeness’ within sociopolitical settings. Shifting between performance, video, text, sound, and multimedia installations, her practice takes on a form that is experimental, applying methods that are deliberately undisciplined. Kukama uses performance as a strategy that allows her to invent as well as to apply methods that are outside the canon of what is predictable or expected while questioning how histories are narrated and subverting how value systems are constructed. Her performances are to be understood as gestures of poetry with political intent while destabilizing existing canons regarding the ways we look at reality.

Kukama has presented performances at several major international Museums and institutions. She has participated in the 12th Lyon Biennale, the 6th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, 32nd Bienal de São Paulo, Belgrade Biennale, the South African Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale, as well as the 10th Berlin Biennale‘s public program. She is the 2014 recipient of the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Performance Art. Kukama was a lecturer at the Wits School of Arts, University of Witwatersrand (2011-2021) in Johannesburg and a guest professor at HBK Braunschweig in Germany (2019-2020). She acquired a Masters of Arts in the Public Sphere from Ecole Cantonale d'Arts du Valais in Switzerland in 2008 and is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Transart Institute for Creative Research (with Liverpool John Moores University).