iQhiya, The Commute II (2016), performance, Cape Town, photo: Gerald Machona

iQhiya, The Portrait, 2016, performance, Athens School of Fine Arts (ASFA)—Pireos Street (“Nikos Kessanlis” Exhibition Hall), documenta 14, photo: Stathis Mamalakis

iQhiya, Monday, 2017, performance and installation, Former Underground Train Station (KulturBahnhof), Kassel, documenta 14, photo: Fred Dott

There is something called the “hidden curriculum,” a term developed by educational theorists in the 1920s. If it were not so hidden, I could explain exactly what it is, but it always seems to conceal itself one layer beneath explicit content. It is present in the reproductive process that perpetually births structures and patterns and infinite versions of things that perpetuate those structures and patterns.

Without attempting to describe the texture of this thing, I think we agree, as iQhiya, that when we are together and alone, we all feel it. We all understand in our own various modes, at the particularities of our positions, the hidden curriculum. We understand it, not because we can see it, but because it tends to move against our own flow.

There are a number of bodies—human, institutional, or mechanical—who have swallowed the hidden curriculum, and who will talk into it and through it and according to it at any opportunity, regardless of whether or not they are even able to see it. In fact, we are born into it, and the process of separation of self from this hidden curriculum is a painful one.

Whether its underbelly is exposed to you through tear-gas and rubber bullets, through being teased about your hair at school, through the experience of physicalized violence, through the glassy blue eyes that stare through you, and the shock and surprise that “You made that?” or “You wrote that?” The hidden curriculum would have a number of people believe that they do not in fact exist.

As I said, when we—iQhiya, a collective of eleven members who all attended the University of Cape Town—are alone together, we might agree on having felt what this hidden curriculum does to each of us, but when we are being looked at, talked to, and seen, we are aware of the part of the hidden curriculum that renders us each similar versions of one type of person.

So perhaps it is the falseness of this leering and hiding curriculum that has brought us together, and encouraged us to learn outside of it—to learn from each other—and to collaborate, discuss, argue, and perform together. iQhiya is attempting to offer an alternative curriculum to Black women artists in South Africa, one that defies the structural injustices (lessons) of the hidden curriculum that we all came to uncover in our various experiences of the institution.

—Thuli Gamedze

Posted in Public Exhibition
Excerpted from the documenta 14: Daybook

The Parliament of Bodies: The Strategy of Joy

with Ross Birrell, Nita Deda, Hendrik Folkerts, Dimitris Ginosatis, Natasha Ginwala, Guillermo Gómez-Peña and Balitronica Gómez, Jack Halberstam, Trajal Harrell, Candice Hopkins, iQhiya, Élisabeth Lebovici, Catherine Malabou, Joar Nango, Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, Paul B. Preciado, Ibrahim Quraishi, Roee Rosen, Dim Sampaio, and Adam Szymczyk

A paradox lies at the heart of contemporary democratic societies concerning the center of the politics of representations of their parliaments: They have gradually turned into ensembles joined by fear…


In Memoriam: Tshiamo Naledi Letlhogonolo Pinky Mayeng (1993–2017)

hey friend,

we never met someone whose sense of time and space moved so mysterious

so independent of the chaos of this planet…



by iQhiya

iQhiya’s performative installation attempts to offer an alternative curriculum, defying the structural lessons of the hidden curriculum that we uncover in various experiences of (educational) institutions…


The Portrait

by iQhiya

The Portrait is an endurance performance that speaks to the role forced upon Black women in society, referencing the tensions between suffering and violence.