Press Release

State of Concept Athens is happy to present the first solo exhibition of Kapwani Kiwanga in Greece, entitled Deposits.

Born in Hamilton, Canada and based in Paris, Kiwanga's practice is research-driven, instigated by marginalised or forgotten histories, and articulated across a range of materials and mediums including sculpture, installation, photography, video, and performance. Her research combines her training in anthropology with her interests in history, memory, and mythology.



International exhibitions

International Archives 2nd half of 2021

Kapwani Kiwanga, Deposits

State of Concept, Athens (Greece)

11.12.2021 - 12.02.2022




Exhibition 11 December 2021 - 12 February 2022. State of Concept, Tousa Botsari 19 - 117 41 Athens (Greece). T +30 21 3031 8576. Hours: Wednesday–Friday 4:30–8:30pm, Saturday 12–5pm







Deposits features a newly commissioned piece together with a selection of works from previous years. The exhibition results from a long dialogue between the artist and the curator of the exhibition iLiana Fokianaki, which first led to Kapwani Kiwanga, New work at Kunstinstituut Melly in September 2020, part of which is travelling to State of Concept, Athens. Through their dialogue, a main question was born: “hat is the role of plants in the histories of human struggle for liberation?”

Kiwanga’ work for Deposits, revolves around the epistemologies of botany, its histories and their relation to acts of resistance. The artist examines the role of plants in self-medication, subsistence, and self-protection, while considering them as witnesses to human history. Kiwanga looks at how plants can metamorphose from pharmakon (medicine) to poison, aiming to highlight the tenuous balance between the two.

One can consider Kiwanga's work within the framework proposed by theorists who have looked at histories of racial inequality, such as the Martinique theorist Édouard Glissant who discusses opacity as the denial to be visible, understood, or categorized, as well as Afro-American writer Saidiya Hartman, who identifies opacity as obscurity and calls for “he right of obscurity to be respected". In that light, Kiwanga's work also directs towards what could the role of plants be in the history of opacity (or, the visibility and invisibility of resistance).

The artist is further interested in pointing towards how opacity/obscurity stands in stark contradiction to the hyper-visibility of the controlled body imposed by dominant narratives and appropriating practices of exposure, seen in the Western science of botany from the sixteenth century onwards. Kiwanga's desire to unveil plants as protagonists of the “pacity of resistance”alongside humans, links the histories of resistance from previous centuries to the modern histories of the civil rights movement and the current antiracist global movement.

Deposits is curated by iLiana Fokianaki and is supported by Institut Français.

The newly commissioned work Bequest (2021) is a commission of the artist, woven by Vasso Damkou.

The work Semence (2020) was a commission of the artist to ceramist Lisanne Ceelen, and was produced by Kunstinstituut Melly with the support of Ammodo, Mondriaan Fonds, Institut Francais Pays Bas and Canada Council for the Arts.

Kapwani Kiwanga, Semence (detail), 2020
. Ceramic replicas of Oryza glaberrima rice grains. Photo: © Lisanne Ceelen

Kapwani Kiwanga, Deposits, State of Concept, Athens, Greece

© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2021. All Rights Reserved