january 2018 – june 2018.
co-assistant curator with khumo sebambo
”The danger of a single story”, a quote by writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie from her Ted Talk is the starting point of the exhibition and the inspiration for the title for The NIROX Foundation’s annual winter exhibition.
The exhibition combines existing works with new productions that will occupy and transform the landscape. Titled NOT A SINGLE STORY, the exhibition is dominated by women artists in a response to a very singular art history. The artists represent a diversity of perspectives as they range from forerunners to emerging artists within contemporary art in South Africa, the African diaspora, Sweden and internationally.
The exhibition and its comprehensive educational programming aimed at children and youth to expand understanding of life and art, is supported by The Swedish Postcode Lottery. The exhibition NOT A SINGLE STORY and the educational exchange with talks, tours and workshops is presented in the NIROX Winter Exhibition Program context.
During NOT A SINGLE STORY, I performed a 30 minute action based piece. With the use gold leaf, I added to an architectural anomaly within the double-volume studio space in the NIROX residency, while suspended precariously from the ceiling. The act is linked to the ancient Japanese philosophy of Kintsugi, the art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, where flaws are embraced. By creating conceptual links to this technique, the notion of mending an area in celebratory reverence rather than focusing on the absence is brought to the foreground.
The Japanese philosophy of Kintsugi is one which highlights and embraces the flawed or imperfect. This ancient technique is conceptually linked to the notion of an improvement through repair and rebirth. These ideas shift the value of a worn or broken object. It marks a time-based event, a memory of sorts, layering a new form of life rather than deeming the object as damaged or dead.
Similarly the Japanese philosophies of Wabi-sabi and Mushin (meaning ‘no- mind’) encompassing the notions of cyclical change, acceptance and non- attachment and is closely linked to our experiences as humans. The lightness and delicacy of the gold leaf medium speaks through metaphors of these principles, as the aesthetic is linked to a compassionate sensitivity whereby one is able to identify with things outside ones self.