Angolan artist Kiluanji Kia Henda invites the audience to take part in an artistic outing along the south Styrian border, inserting an installation in the landscape that spotlights current political events.
With Kiluanji Kia Henda (PT/AO)
Blood is red and wine is red – a simple fact, which for millennia has been mentioned in biblical parables, texts, lyrics and popular everyday culture. However, in southern Styria Kiluanji Kia Henda has spotted another similarity: Between the patterns created by the metal barriers recently erected to seal off the country and the structures used to prop up grapevines. On his first trip to the border region the multimedia artist encountered idyllic grapevines, an entertaining musical evening in a Buschenschank and an astonishing number of crucifixes and wayside shrines.
Inspired by this experience and commissioned by steirischer herbst, Kia Henda, who lives in Luanda and Lisbon, has developed one of his largest installations in a public space so far, in a field owned by Schloss Seggau. Consisting of hundreds of blood-red metal bars set up in the border region, the installation oppressively relates current fears in society, Catholic traditions and south Styrian winegrowing with the fences that mark out the country’s long invisible border with Slovenia.
“This is my Blood” symbolises to Kia Henda not only the pact between Man and God, but also the tragedy of thousands of refugees who are losing their lives in and around Europe.
An additional series of postcards accompanies the project.
Commissioned by steirischer herbst
Kiluanji Kia Henda (PT/AO)
Kiluanji Kia Henda, born in Luanda/Angola in 1979, lives and works as a photographer and visual artist in his home city and in the Portuguese capital Lisbon. After first participations in group shows in Angola and Spain, he presented his first solo exhibition ”Ngola Bar” in 2007, that was shown at the 1st Luanda Triennale and the 52nd Venice Biennale, among other venues. Over the following years Henda was in Cape Town, Venice, Paris and Amman/Jordan, conceptualising and realising other internationally exhibited projects during these residencies, including ”self-portrait as a white man” (2010) and ”Homem Novo” (2012). The Angolan Ministry of Cultural Affairs awarded him the National Prize of Art and Culture in 2012. In 2015 Henda also featured for the first time at steirischer herbst as part of the special exhibition ”Das ist nicht meine Geschichte!”.