Kim Gurney

Role/Position: Research Associate Email: [email protected] Website:

Active Projects

Archived Projects

Kim Gurney works independently across fine art, research and writing. Kim is affiliated as Research Associate to African Centre for Cities at University of Cape Town, and the Visual Identities in Art & Design (VIAD) Research Centre at University of Johannesburg.



Her writing covers a range of topics and modalities. She is the author of The Art of Public Space (2015). Her second book is a work of creative nonfiction that tracks artwork journeys from a Johannesburg atelier into the world, to tell an interwoven story of transition (forthcoming 2017).



Kim’s own art practice deals with disappearances of different kinds and makes restorative gestures, while engaging other artists through curatorial initiatives. She lives in Cape Town and works from a Salt River studio assembled from recycled film sets.


Selected recent publications:


Gurney, K. (2017) August House is Dead, Long Live August House! The Story of a Johannesburg Atelier. FouthWall Books: Johannesburg.

Gurney, K. (2015) The Art of Public Space: Curating and Re-imagining the Ephemeral City. Palgrave Macmillan: London.



Gurney, K. [forthcoming 2016] in Dobraszczyk, P., Galviz, C.L. & Garrett, B. L. (eds) Undergrounds: Exploring Cities Within (working title). Reaktion Books: London.

Pieterse, E. & Gurney, K. (2012) “Johannesburg: Investing in Cultural Economies or Publics?” in Anheier, H.K. & Y.R. Isar (eds) & guest editor M. Hoelscher, M. (eds) Cultural Policy and Governance in a New Metropolitan Age: The Cultures and Globalization Series (Vol. 5). Sage Publications Ltd: London, Chapter 17, pp. 195-203.



Gurney, K. (January 2015) “The Conservationist”, A narrative essay that profiles Luzann Isaacs, who manages an urban wetland park in Cape Town, published in association with the exhibition City Desired, which offers the story of a South African city through the lives of 11 Capetonians, Cityscapes, Vol. 6: 152-165.

Gurney, K. (2014), “Edge Design”, Urban Form and Social Change in Khayelitsha and Dunoon, Cityscapes, Issue No. 5: 34-49.

Gurney, K. (2013), “Sounding the City: Urban Performance in Johannesburg”, Kunstforum International, Issue 223: 10/13-12/13: pp. 94-107.

Gurney, K. (September 2013, online; 05 November print), “Ethnography of a Flame”, Critical Arts: South-North Cultural and Media Studies, 27(4): 439-443.

Gurney, K. (2012), “The Fractured Public Interest”, Rhodes Journalism Review, Issue 32: 8.

Gurney, K. (2012), “Mzansi’s Golden Economy and performance art”, The Johannesburg Salon, Volume 5: 98-101


  • Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 2.45.25 PM Kim Gurney

    Book Review: The Art of Public Space

    Kim Gurney takes readers through Johannesburg via three arts projects. It is a journey that gives a unique insight into the potential of public art to fashion new public imaginaries of common space says LSE’s Kate Dawson. Read the full book review  by Kate Dawson here.