SA on display
Local artists open the South African Pavilion this week at the Venice Biennale
Critically acclaimed curator collective Nkule Mabaso and Nomusa Makhubu will join a three-member team of visual artists, Dineo Seshee Bopape, Tracey Rose and Mawande Ka Zenzile to represent South Africa at the South African Pavilion at the 58th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia in Venice, which will run from 11 May to 24 November 2019.
Established in 1895, La Biennale di Venezia is one of the oldest art events in the world, with over 80 countries and artists represented at various individual pavilions
Reflecting on South Africa’s ability to creatively triumph beyond “interesting” social and political dynamics, Mabaso and Makhubu have conceptualised the exhibition under the theme: ‘The Stronger We Become’ which they’ve curated in response to the international theme ‘May You Live in Interesting Times’.
Mabaso and Makhubu speak about the selection of artists: “We wanted to work with artists that would help us achieve a particular way of thinking and fit with the chosen curatorial purpose. We are confident that they are best placed to articulate these ideals,” the curators said.
Known for her experimental video montages, sculptural installations, paintings and found objects, Dineo Seshee Bopape transforms spaces into meditative arenas as she explores themes of historical, personal and fictional narratives.
Tracey Rose, who first presented her work in Venice as part of the Harald Szeemann’s Plateau de l’Humaniteat at the 49th Venice Biennial in 2001, will explore the many absurdities of contemporary life in post-apartheid South Africa through her performance and multimedia-inspired presentation.
Mawande Ka Zenzile thrives on confronting issues of coloniality and knowledge, and through the use of riddles, idioms and proverbs, he probes different worldviews and ways of learning and living.
South Africa’s participation at La Biennale di Venezia is made possible by the Department of Arts and Culture.