Press Release

From September 16, 2023 to January 7, 2024, the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg will present Kapwani Kiwanga: The Length of the Horizon, the first institutional and comprehensive mid-career retrospective of the artist’s work worldwide. Research-based, thematically highly topical, and future-oriented—these terms can be used to describe the impressive oeuvre of Kapwani Kiwanga (b. 1978). The Canadian and French artist recently received numerous international awards and will represent Canada at the 60th Venice Biennale in 2024. The exhibition brings together works in all media from Kiwanga’s artistic beginnings to the present day, including the highly acclaimed installation Terrarium (2022), her sixteen-meter-long colored light tunnel pink-blue (2017), and her sculptural series Glow (2019, ongoing). Kapwani Kiwanga’s expansive works come together in the exhibition to create a uniquely aesthetic, insightful, and physical experience.



International exhibitions

International Archives 2nd half of 2023

Kapwani  Kiwanga, The Length of Horizon

Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg (Germany)

16.09.2023 - 07.01.2024





“We are very excited to present Kapwani Kiwanga’s first major survey exhibition, a deeply original voice on the contemporary art scene. Here at the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, her works in our large exhibition hall will condense into a visually fascinating and profound ensemble that will draw the public’s attention to investigations of history that resonate with social issues of today. At the same time one is captivated by the aesthetic appearance of Kapwani Kiwangas works,” says Andreas Beitin, Director of the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg.

Uta Ruhkamp, curator of the exhibition, explains: “Kapwani Kiwanga’s works are multi-layered. They are extremely complex artistic translations of well-researched situations, conditions, and mechanisms of our society and the world we live in. Her installations, paintings, works on paper, photographs, and video works are captivating in their aesthetics, formal clarity, and reduction. Yet, her sensitive choice of materials and colors is always grounded in deeper levels of meaning that charge her works both historically and socio-politically and break the visual pleasure in terms of content. Kapwani Kiwanga poetically surveys and expands our social horizons. I am particularly pleased that she is developing a new work with shade cloth, one of her ‘signature’ materials, for her exhibition with us.”

As a graduate anthropologist and scholar of comparative religion, Kapwani Kiwanga has the academic background for her social analytical practice. In her work, she employs so-called exit strategies: “I’m not trying to restate what one knows. I’m also trying to see what ways to get past what we know. To do that requires very simple things like just looking at it differently, or just even looking at it for the first time. […] These ‘exit strategies’ are very personal, but they can be collectively experienced as well,” Kapwani Kiwanga summarizes.

The artist searches for a vocabulary to look at existing structures and power relations from new perspectives in order to think about them differently in the future. The visually impressive works initially appeal to the viewer in a very sensual way. At second glance, the historical-political dimensions of her works reveal themselves, some of which surprise and unsettle. Glass, two-way mirrors, shade cloth, stone, sand, sisal, and plants, as well as light and color—for Kapwani Kiwanga, these are not value-neutral materials, but rather materials charged with content. Their choice is never purely aesthetic. Rather, she translates social, geological, ecological, historical, and diasporic themes into powerful artistic statements. She stages material histories in which the material is at once ambassador, metaphor, bearer of experience, and socio-political instrument. In this way, she shakes the foundations of our cultural socialization. She refines our sense for “hidden” social mechanisms, structural injustices, as well as global and everyday power asymmetries.

Director: Dr Andreas Beitin

Curator: Dr Uta Ruhkamp

Kapwani Kiwanga, The Marias, 2020, vue d’installation, Remai Modern, Saskatoon, Canada, 2021. Prêt de la collection de l’IAC, France, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023, Photo: Blaine Campbell

Kapwani Kiwanga, The Marias, 2020, vue d’installation, Remai Modern, Saskatoon, Canada, 2021. Prêt de la collection de l’IAC, France, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023, Photo: Blaine Campbell

Exhibition 16 September 2023 - 07 January 2024. Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Hollerplatz 1 - 38440 Wolfsburg (Germany). Hours : Tuesday to Sunday 11 am – 6 pm.





Kapwani  Kiwanga, The Length of Horizon, Kunstmueum Wolfsburg, Germany

© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2023. All Rights Reserved