Grada Kilomba in coversation with Simone Leigh

September 10, 2021, 6.30pm
Géza, 306 Maujer

Géza, Amant’s space for discursive events and performances, opens to the public with a dialogue between artists Grada Kilomba and Simone Leigh. Through different methodologies, both artists draw on common reference points within their practices, shaped by the study of African traditions, black female subjectivity, the vernacular, storytelling, and post-colonial ideas.

The discussion is centered on Kilomba’s exhibition at Amant, “Heroines, Birds, and Monsters”, with a focus on the importance of establishing historical awareness through new interpretations of subjects, objects, and narratives.

Photo Grada Kilomba: Ute Langkafel.
Photo Simone Leigh: Shaniqwa Jarvis.

About the artists
Grada Kilomba was born in 1968 in Lisbon and lives and works in Berlin. Kilomba’s work draws on memory, trauma, and post-colonialism. Best known for her subversive writing and poetic imagery, Kilomba gives voice, body, and image to her own writings—what she describes as performing knowledge. Her work has been exhibited at biennials such as the 32nd São Paulo Biennial; Documenta 14, Kassel; the 10th Berlin Biennale; and the 13th Lubumbashi Biennale. She has had recent solo exhibitions at the Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporánea (MUAC), Mexico City (2021); Bildmuseet, Umeå (2019); Pinacoteca de São Paulo (2019); The Power Plant, Toronto (2018); and the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT), Lisbon (2017).
Simone Leigh was born in 1967 in Chicago, IL and lives in Brooklyn, NY. Leigh’s practice incorporates sculpture, video, and installation; all are informed by her ongoing exploration of black female-identified subjectivity. Leigh works in a mode she describes as auto ethnographic. Her objects often employ materials and forms traditionally associated with African art; her performance- influenced installations create spaces where historical precedent and self-determination comingle. Through her investigations of visual overlaps between cultures, time periods, and geographies, she confronts and examines ideas of the female body, race, beauty, and community. She is a recipient of the Foundation for Contemporary Art Grant (2018), Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize (2017), John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship (2016), and Anonymous Was a Woman Award (2016). Recent projects and exhibitions include: Simone Leigh (2020) at David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles; Whitney Biennial (2019) at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Trigger: Gender as a Tool and as a Weapon (2017) at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; Psychic Friends Network (2016) at Tate Exchange, Tate Modern, London; The Waiting Room (2016) at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; The Free People’s Medical Clinic (2014) a project commissioned by Creative Time; inHarlem, a public installation presented by The Studio Museum in Harlem at Marcus Garvey Park, New York; and a solo exhibition at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. Leigh’s work was featured in Loophole of Retreat, a major exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum, New York to commemorate her achievements as the winner of the Hugo Boss Prize 2018. Leigh is the first artist to be commissioned for the High Line Plinth, where she presents a new monumental sculpture that started in April 2019.