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Kapwani Kiwanga won Frieze Artist Award

Kapwani Kiwanga, 2016. Photo: Bertille Chérot

The Paris-based Canadian artist Kapwani Kiwanga is the winner of the Frieze Artist Award, a major opportunity for an emerging artist launching at Frieze New York 2018.

With a budget of $30,000, she will realize an open-air installation in Randall’s Island Park, exploring freedom of movement and architectures of exclusion, tentatively titled Shady. Created with industrial metal and agricultural fabric and punctuated by holes and passageways, Shady will be an imposing structure, both inviting and obstructing movement. The artist’s choice of Shade Cloth, used in large-scale farming on the African continent and beyond, is a political one, intended to speak to the colonial appropriation of land from indigenous communities and the manipulation of the environment for economic gain.

"Kapwani’s rigorous research and imaginative approach will confront audiences with the raw materials and elemental structures of power", explains Artist Award curator Adrienne Edwards, "and ask poignant questions about our built environment and human histories of control."

Born in Canada in 1978, Kapwani Kiwanga has explored subjects as far reaching as space travel, anti-colonial struggles and geology in an expansive practice often rooted in her training in anthropology. Part documentary, part action, her works span installation, sound, video and performance, unsettling established narratives and creating spaces in which marginalized discourse can flourish.

Kapwani Kiwanga was supported by Etant donnés Contemporary Art for her solo exhibition Structural Adjustments at the Logan Center for the Arts, University of Chicago in 2017. Her work is currently presented at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, within the group show Stories of Almost Everyone..., also supported by Etant donnés Contemporary Art. She will be soon in residency at Artpace, San Antonio. She is represented by Jérôme Poggi Gallery, Paris.