Showing her work in Portugal for the first time, Grada Kilomba presents Secrets to Tell, the first exhibition featured in the Project Room programme. Inspired by the video installation The Desire Project—an artwork especially created for the 32nd São Paulo Biennale (2016), and one of the latest acquisitions for the EDP Foundation Art Collection, which now has its premiére in Europe, the new installation gathers several existing artworks in a new configuration.
Grada Kilomba is a Berlin-based writer, scholar and interdisciplinary artist. Born in Lisbon, she has roots in São Tomé e Príncipe and Angola. Her work addresses issues of both gender and race and notions of trauma and memory, in the context of current debates on colonialism and post-colonialism. Her research delves into the ambiguous relationship between memory and forgetting, and the collective memory and identity of Africans and of their diasporas. Evoking African oral traditions and their power to carry on the spoken word, the artist’s work gives voice to silenced narratives, thus rewriting and retelling a history that has been suppressed or disregarded. Using and combining different mediums, Kilomba explores unconventional, experimental and interdisciplinary artistic practices.
Adapted to MAAT’s Project Room, the new installation of The Desire Project is accompanied by a video of a staged reading of Kilomba’s book Plantation Memories, published in 2008, and by Kosmos2, Labor #10: Video Installation, one of a series of debates the artist has been hosting at the Maxim Gorki Theatre, in Berlin.
MAAT – Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology