Jessica Karuhanga – ground and cover me

ground and cover me engages with the physical and figurative contours of social and public space as well as the architecture of institutional and built structures. Karuhanga enacts gradual movements that are intuitive and deliberate responses to the walls, windows and ground. This piece is a choreographic rupture to spaces that might otherwise insist upon the erasure of the historical significance and site specificity that Black subjects occupy in time and space. Karuhanga’s headphones and the personalized soundtrack to her performance negotiate access to the interior space of the performer and by extension her presentation to the public. They both set boundaries to her own experience and leave hervulnerable to the machinations of a public that would seek to instrumentalize her subjectivity.

About the artist

Jessica Karuhanga is a first-generation Canadian artist of British-Ugandan heritage whose work addresses issues of cultural politics of identity and Black diasporic concerns through lens-based technologies, writing, drawing and performances. Through her practice, she explores individual and collective concerns of Black subjectivity and embodiment. She was the 2020 – 2021 recipient of Concordia University’s SpokenWeb Artist/Curator-in-Residence Fellowship. Karuhanga has exhibited her work at Mitchell Art Gallery (Edmonton, 2022), the Robert McLaughlin Gallery (Oshawa, 2021), Varley Art Gallery (Markham, 2020), The Bentway (Toronto, 2019), Nuit Blanche (Toronto, 2018) and Onsite Gallery (Toronto, 2018). She has performed at Remai Modern (Saskatoon, 2023), Pallas Art Projects (Dublin, IE, 2022), WNDX Festival of Moving Image (Winnipeg, 2020), Long Winter (Toronto, 2019), Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto, 2018), Cooper Cole Gallery (Toronto, 2017), Goldsmiths University (London, UK, 2017) and DoubleDouble Land (Toronto, 2016). C Magazine, BlackFlash, Susan Hobbs Gallery, Blackwood Gallery and Fonderie Darling have published Karuhanga’s writing. She has been featured in AGO’s Artist Spotlight, i-D, DAZED, Visual Aids, Border Crossings, Exclaim!, Toronto Star, CBC Arts, esse, filthy dreams, Globe and Mail and Canadian Art. She earned her BFA from Western University and MFA from the University of Victoria. She is an Assistant Professor at Western University (London, ON).