Poolside Conversations
05.10.17 – 17.12.17

Lungiswa Gqunta creates installations, sculptures and audio-visual work revealing the hidden structures that perpetuate the legacy of colonialism in South Africa as presented to us in a domestic environment and the leisure activities that takes place there. In Poolside Conversations Gqunta invites us to reconsider the domestic and the associated suburban garden as a space reserved for leisure activities as experienced by the privileged – a private space reserved for the landowner. Through her practice she seeks to disturb these spaces of privilege and highlight the structures of colonialism that are still in place today.

Central to the installation is the notion of the swimming pool – a common design element found in the suburban gardens of South Africa and a visceral symbol of privilege. In a country where basic resources such as water are increasingly rare it epitomises the luxuries afforded to the few and in effect becomes a racialized signifier of wealth.

Collectively the works in the installation narrates a resistance against the structures of colonialism that remain in place today and the inequality that surrounds us. These privileges are directly linked to issues of racial segregation and other long term effects of colonialism that continue to subtly spread and imprison a large number of South Africans whether its physically or psychologically.

Poolside Conversations consist of:

Umzi Watsha, 2017
Digital sound recording
Duration: 63 seconds (looped)

Sleeping Pools, 2017
Found bed, perspex, led strip lighting, water, ink, petrol

Feet under fire, 2017  
Projection of Digital Video
Duration: 56 seconds (looped)

Poolside Conversations, the first solo presentation of Gqunta’s work in London, is hosted by KELDER together with a programme of talks and events that further explore notions of decolonisation, landscape and protest.
Lungiswa Gqunta’s practice exposes different forms of violence by interrogating colonial landscapes and the spatial legacies that manifest as a result. Gqunta focuses on creating multisensory experiences to better articulate social imbalances that resulted specifically from the colonial project in South Africa.Gqunta obtained her Masters Degree in Art from Michaelis, University of Cape Town in 2017 and recent exhibitions include 15th Istanbul Biennial (2017), Stranger’s Location at Michaelis Galleries (2017) and Qokobe at Whatiftheworld (2016). Gqunta is also a member of the female collective iQhiya, that participated in Documenta 14 in Athens and Kassel. Gqunta’s work is held in the Zeitz Mocca Collection in South Africa as well as Private Collections in South Africa and United Kingdom.