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Kapwani Kiwanga: The Sum and its Parts

Kapwani Kiwanga produces works across installation, performance, and video that marry her training in anthropology and comparative religions with her interests in history, memory, and mythology. Presenting rigorous research in imaginative ways, Kiwanga intentionally confuses truth and fiction in her work in order to enable the flourishing of fantastical narratives.

For her first solo exhibition in the United States, Kiwanga presents a selection of newly commissioned work. Across sculptural installations and prints, Kiwanga deconstructs the physical and psychic qualities of built environments including schools, prisons, hospitals, and mental health facilities. In the main gallery, Kiwanga brings together architectural elements from historical and contemporary versions of these spaces including wall sections, lighting fixtures, and surface treatments to propose a spatial collage that escapes the sum of its fragments. A distinctive feature of the show is the artist’s transposition of two-tone color palettes, often used in the interiors of institutional spaces, onto the gallery walls. Kiwanga thereby recalls the application of color theory to the conditions of learning, surveillance, healing, and care. A separate single-channel video in an adjoining gallery delves deeper into the spatial histories of different building typologies.