Performance Artist – Ato Malinda

Ato Malinda

Kenyan artist – Performance Art, Afrocentricity based in a postcolonial context, Gender and Sexuality

Ato Malinda (1981) was born in Kenya, as the daughter of a Kenyan mother and an Ugandan father. She grew up in Holland, but returned to Kenya as a teenager. After high school she moved to the USA where she studied Art History and Molecular Biology at the University of Texas. She subsequently moved back to Kenya where she works in multiple art disciplines: video art, performance art, installation, drawing, and painting. In addition, she works as a free-lance curator.

Ato is one of a few performance artists in East Africa and is fighting hard for this relatively unknown art discipline to become more accepted. Many of Ato’s performances are transformed into video art, with new layers and perspectives added to the original performance.

Ato Malinda lives and works in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. She has a Masters of Fine Art (MFA) from Transart Institute, New York and is a PhD candidate at Leiden University and the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. She works in the mediums of performance, drawing, painting, installation and video, as well as has a growing interest in object-making. Her previous work has focused on Afrocentricity based in a postcolonial context. Within this context, Malinda has focused on the hybrid nature of African identity, contesting notions of authenticity. Through her research, Malinda has discovered numerous histories of intermingling of Africans through colonialism, but also trade, with other cultures. In addition, Malinda focuses on ontology of the female experience pertaining to Africa, examining gender and ideologies surrounding the history and current state of gender and sexuality in Africa. She has exhibited at Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst (NGBK) in Berlin (2011), Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main (2014), the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution (2015), Salon Urbain de Douala in Cameroon (2010) and the Karen Blixen Museum in Copenhagen (2010).

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