2022 Shifting the Gaze

The exhibition, Shifting the Gaze, showcased the research results by artists Bwanga ‘Benny Blow’ Kapumpa (Zambia) and Andy Storchenegger (Switzerland) in collaboration with Marita Banda (Zambia). The artists were part of the inaugural year of the Livingstone office for Contemporary Art (LoCA) Artists Residency program in 2021.

As part of the exhibition, we also invited Zambian electronic music artist/DJ, SHE Spells Doom to perform during the opening night of the show. He collaborated with the exhibiting artist, Andy Storchenegger.

Shifting The Gaze was a result of our exhibition programming at LoCA where we invite artists with research-based art practices or projects interested in investigating histories, politics, social issues and culture in Livingstone and its surrounding region while negotiating their positionality and identity politics. During the yearlong residency and research, the artists engaged with local communities, scholars, artists, traditional African medicine practitioners and cultural custodians in informing their concepts. This exhibition presented their respective research processes through various materials and critical thinking utilising video, sound, text, music, sculpture, and installation.

The exhibition was held at the National Art Gallery in Livingstone, Zambia and opened on 30th April 2022, running until 11th September 2022.

shifting the gaze

Through Andy Storchenegger and Marita Banda’s artwork, Nobody is Okay, the viewer is introduced to a three video projection work that creates a synchronized dialogue. The work interrogates notions of identity, affinities, and antipathies through the concept of masquerade from an angle that proposes the idea that the uncomfortable is rife, expected and must be acknowledged.

Bwanga ‘Benny Blow’ Kapumpa’s research work, is an ongoing investigation of Zambia’s healing and spirituality practices (building from the exhibition, A Glimmer of Resistance 2020). Kapumpa’s curiosity about these forms of healing and spiritual practices opens a new reading of oppressed epistemologies that were dubbed as “witchcraft” by early anthropological studies due to a lack of cultural context and understanding. His work took the form of three installations, and one video broadcast on an electronic billboard in Livingstone’s town area.

The themes of Shifting the Gaze, are embedded into the question: How can we contextualise art through history and vice versa? How can art affect, alter or comment upon how we receive and view history? And how does the modernity of those (historic) practices impact our everyday life?

These questions make up the integral position from which we as LoCA work. Projects are realised from this mindset to be a platform for historicising the gap within Zambian art history and at the same time, a tool in which we will record the findings and structure built from the methodologies we are developing. It is the institution’s tool to argue, to experiment. LoCA is a teaching and learning hub that favours collective forms of knowledge sharing, and a platform to engage with critical thinking in the relationship between art production, theme, material, and exhibition-making of the finished product. It is also a tool to defend the radical standpoint on how to deconstruct the paradigms that have driven the reading/seeing/presentation/representation of the arts on our local art scene.