Frame from The Desire Project, 2015-2016
Grada Kilomba is a writer, theorist and artist who activates and produces decolonial knowledge by weaving relationships between gender, race and class. Her oeuvre consists of different formats and registers, such as publications, staged readings, lectureperformances, video installations and theoretical texts, creating a hybrid space between academic knowledge and artistic practice. From the dual gesture of decolonizing thought and performing knowledge Kilomba leaps from text to performance and gives body, voice and image to her writings. At the 32nd Bienal, the artist presents two distinct projects. The Desire Project (2015-2016), a video installation divided into three parts: While I Speak, While I Write and While I Walk, videos whose only visual element is the written word and which indicates the emergence of a speaker who has been historically silenced by colonial narratives. Illusions (2016) is a performance which employs video projections and the African tradition of storytelling. The reading introduces the myths of Narcissus and Echo as metaphors for a colonial past and politics of representation that only reflect themselves.