13. April – 15. May 2023
Opening reception: Thursday 2 of March, 6-8pm
RAM is proud to present the first Scandinavian solo show of Acaye Kerunen, a multidisciplinary performance and installation artist, storyteller, writer, actress and activist based in Kampala, Uganda.
Acaye Kerunen represented Uganda at the 2022 Venice Biennale alongside Collin Sekajugo, resulting in the Ugandan pavilion receiving the biennale jury Special Mention award for best national participation together with France. This was Uganda’s inaugural participation in the Venice Biennale, for which Kerunen and Sekajugo collaborated on Radiance – They Dream in Time, which showcased their shared interest in deconstructing western tropes about Africa and the othering of African art. Several of the works shown in Venice will be included in the exhibition at RAM, thanks to the generous loans of international collectors and art institutions.
Raised by her artist mother, Kerunen’s art is rooted in self-realization despite the challenges of everyday life as a mother herself. She is recognized for her multidisciplinary practice across media and performance as well as advocacy. Her continuous engagement with women’s issues, from liberation and the dismantling of colonial and patriarchal structures to poverty and domestic violence, is embodied through her many artistic activities. Throughout her life she has performed in plays and musical theatre and is a poet and writer, published in multiple outlets both in her native Uganda and worldwide.
The processes of unmaking and remaking are central to Kerunen’s practice. She has explained that African women’s artmaking has been confined to utilitarian practices, for example weaving to produce mats and baskets rather than weaving for the sake of artmaking. Kerunen collaborates with primary artisans, mostly women, to produce the woven, dyed, and hand crafted materials in her work. Her practice incorporates the many cultures of the Great Lakes region, of which Uganda is a part, in order to represent a deep involvement about the connection to making and being as a manifestation for change. Drawing on the natural environment, Kerunen’s work utilizes materials including raffia, banana fiber, stripped sorghum stems, reeds, and palm leaves. The titles of her works are in Alur, Swahili, or Luganda, representing her family background and the women artisans she employs, many of whom speak Luganda.
Kerunen is represented internationally by Pace Gallery Geneva (London, New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong), Blum &Poe (Los Angeles, New York, Tokyo) and Galerie Kandlhofer (Vienna) jointly. She participated recently in Frieze Miami.
The exhibition is made possible with the support of Stjarna.Art, Brussels.
RAM is supported by: