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Gabrielle Goliath’s ‘Personal Accounts’ is on View at the Biennale Arte

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Gabrielle Goliath’s ‘Personal Accounts’ is a transnational, decolonial, black feminist project of repair. Initiated in 2014, it is an ongoing series of video and sound cycles addressing the global normativity of patriarchal violence and the multiplicity of ways in which black, brown, indigenous, femme, queer, non-binary and trans individuals survive it.

Image courtesy of Goliath’s Instagram

While we always find ways of surviving and navigating a world of normative anti black, brown, femme and queer violence, ‘Personal Accounts’ calls for a different kind of relation, a politics of love and avowal that doesn’t disregard intersectional difference, contextual specificities, or the incommensurability of suffering. It also asks for more collective, embodied, survivor-centric ways of coming to know, hear and recognise each other.

Born in Kimberley, South Africa in 1983, Goliath’s immersive, often durational installations have shown across South Africa and internationally. As part of this ongoing work, Goliath works in close collaboration with survivors and allies in Johannesburg and Stellenbosch in South Africa, Tunisia, Oslo in Norway, Milan in Italy, and now Edinburgh in Scotland.

Image courtesy of Goliath’s Instagram

To experience an artwork by Goliath is to step into an emotionally, ethically and relationally involving encounter. In works such as ‘Personal Accounts’, she asks for something more than a witness to the work, but asks for participants to reckon with the everyday conditions of racial, gendered and sexual violence while making it clear that her work is not about violence. Goliath debuts four new cycles of ‘Personal Accounts’ as part of Adriano Pedrosa’s main exhibition titled ‘Foreigners Everywhere’ which will be on view until the 24th of November in Venice.

Recent exhibitions include Sharjah Biennal 15, 2023; Chorus, Dallas Contemporary (2022), Dallas; This song is for…, Kunsthaus Baselland, Basel (2022); This song is for…, Konsthall C, Stockholm (2021); Our Red Sky, Göteborgs Konsthall, Gothenburg (2020); and The Power of my Hands, Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris (2020).

Image courtesy of Goliath’s Instagram

She has won a number of awards including a Future Generation Art Prize – Special Prize (2019), the Standard Bank Young Artist Award (2019), and the Institut Français, Afrique en Créations Prize at the Bamako Biennale (2017). Her work features in numerous public and private collections, including Kunsthalle Zürich, TATE Modern, Frac Bretagne, Iziko South African National Gallery, Johannesburg Art Gallery, and Wits Art Museum.


Lelethu Sobekwa was born in Gqeberha, South Africa. She holds a BA Honours in English and an MA in Creative Writing with distinction from Rhodes University. Lelethu currently writes for Art Network Africa.

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