Exhibition — Installation

Sleep in Witness | Lungiswa Gqunta

2 June up to 7 October 2023
Lijnbaansgracht 317
1017 WZ Amsterdam
  • Tuesday 13:00—18:00
  • Wednesday 13:00—18:00
  • Thursday 13:00—18:00
  • Friday 13:00—18:00
  • Saturday 13:00—18:00
Free admission
Open today from 13:00 to 18:00

The title refers to the intangible world of dreams as a space of learning where extraordinary, overlooked and discredited places of knowledge are illuminated. The exhibition at AKINCI which will festively open during Amsterdam Art Week (31 May – 4 June), includes works out of two installations, Zinodaka, 2022 and Ntabamanzi, 2022, along with the video work Rolling Mountains Dream 2022.

Gqunta examines the enclosures imposed upon African knowledge systems and sees this deprival as a symptom of colonial history and conquest. She positions dreams as a response to this curtailment and a space from which new languages, wisdoms and information for living emerge.

Zinodaka, 2022, is an installation that considers the faith and belief systems of Black ancestors as spaces of knowledge and information. Entering the gallery space, one will see a floor of cracked clay and sand as proof of something living, not necessarily human but something ancient. This landscape, along with glass rocks that appear like water, offer an appeal to consider sources of knowledge that have often disappeared, been cast aside or discredited as non-existent. One of the sad legacies of the apartheid regime is the criminalisation of Black aquatic spiritual practices and the curtailment of water-based ways of acquiring knowledge in South Africa.

Ntabamanzi, 2022 is not a reaction to this brutality, but rather a display of a new consciousness and alterity — a state of being different or other — that exists in spite of this historical wound. Made from barbed wire wrapped in fabric, the installation expands like a drawing in space with vast, wave-like forms.