Kemang Wa Lehulere is one of the artists exhibiting work as part of ‘Athlone in Mind’, the CHR’s upcoming group exhibition of commissioned contemporary art curated by Dr Kurt Campbell. The exhibition, book and digital platform take the place of Athlone to explore new ways of imagining and thinking about marginalised sites of creativity and arts production. ‘Athlone in Mind’ engages diverse artistic practices, cinematic experiments and scholarly essays that explore the challenge to artistic practice for imagining space in ways that exceed and undo apartheid’s spatial formations and temporal markers. The artworks, videos, digital and photographic installations and essays in the book constitute Athlone as a question through an expansive, fluid and composite conception of the relationship between images, thought and place.
Kemang Wa Lehulere was born in 1984 in Cape Town, and lives there. He has a BA Fine Arts degree from the University of the Witwatersrand (2011). Solo exhibitions have taken place at the Deutsche Bank KunstHalle (2017); the Art Institute of Chicago (2016); Gasworks, London (2015); Lombard Freid Projects, New York (2013); the Goethe-Institut, Johannesburg (2011), and the Association of Visual Arts in Cape Town (2009), and the Stevenson Gallery (2016). Notable group exhibitions include Art/ Afrique, le nouvel atelier at Fondation Louis Vuitton (2017); African Odysseys at Le Brass Cultural Centre of Forest, Belgium (2015); the 8th Berlin Biennale (2014); Public Intimacy: Art and Other Ordinary Acts in South Africa at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco (2014); The Ungovernables, the second triennial exhibition of the New Museum in New York (2012); A Terrible Beauty is Born, the 11th Lyon Biennale at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Lyon, France (2011) and When Your Lips Are My Ears, Our Bodies Become Radios at the Kunsthalle Bern and Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern, Switzerland (2010).
Wa Lehulere was the winner of the inaugural Spier Contemporary Award in 2007, the MTN New Contemporaries Award in 2010, and the Tollman Award for the Visual Arts in 2012; he was one of two young artists awarded the 15th Baloise Art Prize at Art Basel in 2013, won the first International Tiberius Art Award Dresden in 2014 and was the Standard Bank Young Artist for Visual Arts in 2015. He is Deutsche Bank’s ‘Artist of the Year’ 2017. Wa Lehulere was a co-founder of the Gugulective (2006), an artist-led collective based in Cape Town, and a founding member of the Center for Historical Reenactments in Johannesburg.
For Athlone in Mind, Kemang Wa Lehulere will construct an installation made of found objects as meditations that question the distribution of the sensible in South African society.