Lerato Shadi lives and works in Berlin. She earned a M.A. (Spatial Strategies) from Kunsthochschule Berlin Weißensee in 2018 and earned a B.A. (Visual Art) from the University of Johannesburg in 2006.
Shadi’s artistic practice explores problematic assumptions projected onto the Black female body and how performance, video and installation can create a space to engage with those preconceived notions, making the body both visible and invisible.
Shadi questions how the white cube (gallery and the museum) can be symbolic of spaces of exclusion. How does the location and architecture affect the body that is performing in it? Why is it important to centre, not just include—the marginalized body as the main figure of narrating experience?
From 2010 to 2012 Shadi was a member of the Bag Factory artist studios in Johannesburg. Her work was featured in the 10th edition of the Dak’art Biennale and in the III Moscow International Biennale in 2012. She is a fellow of Sommerakademie 2013 (Zentrum Paul Klee) and completed in the same year a residency program by invitation of Iniva (London) at Hospitalfield, Scotland. She participated in the JoburgArtFair TEDx talk and presented her solo show Noka Ya Bokamoso at the South African National Arts Festival in Grahamstown and her relating solo show Di Dikadika Tsa Dinaledi at GoetheOnMain, Johannesburg in 2016. Shadi participated in ‘The Parliament of Bodies’, the Public Programs of documenta 14 in Kassel (Germany) and was awarded the AFRICA’SOUT! residency program (New York) in 2017.
Shadi was awarded the mart stam studio grant, Berlin in 2014. She received the Alumni Dignitas Award of the University of Johannesburg in 2016 and the German Villa Romana Prize for 2018.