Khanyisile Mbongwa to Curate 2023 Liverpool Biennial

January 27th, 2022

South African artist and independent curator Khanyisile Mbongwa has been announced as the organizer of the Twelfth Liverpool Biennial, to take place from June to September 2023. Mbongwa, who helmed South Africa’s Stellenbosch Triennale 2020, will lead a curatorial team whose makeup has not yet been revealed. This edition will mark the event’s twenty-fifth anniversary.

“Her long-standing curatorial concerns around care and repair will be vital in thinking about new futures together with the city,” noted Liverpool Biennial director Sam Lackey.

Mbongwa previously served as an adjunct curator for performative practices at the Norval Foundation in Cape Town, where she lives and works. Among her curatorial efforts are the 2021 group show “History’s Footnote: On Love & Freedom” at Marres, House for Contemporary Culture, Maastricht, the Netherlands; a 2020 solo exhibition of multivalent South African artist Athi-Patra Ruga at the Norval Foundation; “BLUEPRINT: Where There’s Nowhere To Go, Where Is Home?,” which she organized at CAT Cologne during a 2018 residency; and 2017’s “Puncture Points,” at the Cape Town Harbour and showcasing the work of fifteen artists from South Africa’s Western Cape region. She is a past executive director of Cape Town’s Handspring Trust for Puppetry Arts and is additionally a founding member of three collectives: Gugulective, centered around art, music, and poetry; Rioters In Session, assembling women poets of color; and  the socially engaged activist group Vasiki Creative Citizens.

“I am excited to work with the Liverpool Biennial team on the 12th edition and am curious to find out what the city will show me about my curatorial processes during my time there,” Mbongwa said. “I am looking forward to cocreating with individuals, collectives and organisations both within Liverpool and beyond and am interested to see how the city has established itself historically, how it sustains itself in this moment and how it imagines its future.”