The exhibition project Middle Gate II – The Story of Dymphna is a collaboration between M HKA (Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp) and the cultural centre de Werft in Geel. Middle Gate II is the follow up to the exhibition Middle Gate, curated by Jan Hoet in Geel in 2013. The exhibition concept is closely tied to the legend of the holy Dymphna, saint of the possessed, the mentally ill and patroness against epilepsy and insanity. The legend of Dymphna shares a strong connection to the identity of Geel, "the charitable city".

Donna Kukama

Born in , ZA
Lives in Johannesburg, ZA

Donna Kukama (°1981) uses performance to make visible the movements, tensions and emotions of contemporary society. To diagnose and perhaps even heal society, we might say, if that weren’t such a stereotypical statement about South Africa. Kukama’s own country is her main arena, although she also works elsewhere in the African continent and in Europe. She performs in ‘real’ spaces – streets and squares and shopping malls – with ‘real’ people in them, but she introduces a significant specification: “Half of the time it’s real spaces and real people, and the other half it’s kind of imagined somewhere in the past or future.

Kukama’s art creates strong visual images that are open to socio-political interpretation. She is trying to combine the solidarity of the political activist with non-alignment of the artist. Her works become meaningful not only as commentary on people’s expectations of and frustrations with social reality, but also as a response to the framework she has chosen to work in: art history in its ‘universal’ western-dominated form. (AK)