For the third instalment of AMS, Stevenson presents a film by Simnikiwe Buhlungu, My Dear Kite (You Can But You Can’t) - Late Yawnings 01h43 (2020).
Buhlungu’s work, described in a review by Jörg Heiser as a ‘playful emulation of the current uncertainty’, was commissioned as part of Artists in Quarantine, an online exhibition series by L’Internationale.
Created in the early days of the pandemic, shortly after the artist moved to the Netherlands to begin a residency at the Rijksakademie, in Amsterdam, the short film offers a window into personal experiences of bodily and geographic displacement. As she muses on the idea of play, and the paradoxes of freedom and restriction, her grounded kite emerges as a keen metaphor for uncertainty and the generative prospects of confusion. 'Woven into these attempts are questions on what it means to be a creative practitioner, to be productive and the (in)ability to respond artistically', remarks the artist, in a text co-written with Yolande van de Heide.
The work has previously been shown at galleries and institutions including La Condition Publique, France (2021); the Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova, Slovenia (2020), the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Spain (2020) and the Van Abbe Museum, the Netherlands (2020).
Buhlungu was born in Johannesburg in 1995. She holds a BA in Fine Art from the University of the Witwatersrand. She has recently completed a two-year residency at the Rijksakademie (2020-22).
Buhlungu features in the 59th Venice Biennale, The Milk of Dreams, as well as the current exhibitions at the Javett Art Center, Pretoria, and the South London Gallery, UK. She has previously taken part in group shows at the Vane Abbe Museum, the Netherlands (2022); Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town (2021); Stedelijk Museum, the Netherlands (2020); Grazer Kunstverein, Austria (2019); Bergen Assembly, Norway (2019); and WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Belgium, where she was an artist in residence in 2018. She participated in the Future Assembly residency between London, Cambridge and Lagos as part of Wysing Arts Centre’s Artist-in-Residence Exchange.
The exhibition opens on Saturday 2 July, 10am to 12pm.