RESHMA CHHIBA / GABRIELLE GOLIATH / MURRAY KRUGER / GERALD MACHONA / KYLE MORLAND / MONIQUE PELSER / THABISO SEKGALA
Goodman Gallery Cape presents [Working Title] – a group exhibition of young artists working in South Africa, brought together in a way that allows multiple and perhaps surprising dialogues to emerge, and foregrounding questions of authorship, authority and notions of the relational.
Reshma Chhiba’s Kundalini Shakti and Linga-yoni – a slashed canvas and an unsettlingly organic sculpture, both informed by the artist’s ongoing interest in the Hindu goddess Kali as an embodiment of unbridled feminine creativity – act as a complement and counterpoint to the cool, Apollonian rationalism of Kyle Morland’s Double-Ended Saddle Cut, a suspended sculpture of welded steel. Both are also concerned, in different ways, with the act and effects of making. Murray Kruger, too, plays with concepts of creativity and authorship in his recreation of, and extrapolation from, Walter Battiss’ 1973 performance piece Open tent for contemplating the cosmic origins of art, while at the same time raising questions about the nature of the artwork, its evolution over time, and the ways in which its audiences are implicated in its inscription into history.
Gerald Machona’s origami-based installation Bling Bling: Blood diamonds are a girl’s best friend, a cynical comment on the abuses of power in postcolonial African politics, resonates with Monique Pelser’s Conversations with my Father, a searingly intimate attempt, in an installation and set of photographs, to understand her father’s death and life in the larger context of the dark and complex history of the South African police. A solemn photographic installation by Gabrielle Goliath titled Berenice 10-28 speaks poignantly of personal issues of loss and grief, while uncompromisingly confronting questions of violence and abuse in South African society.
Thabiso Sekgala’s photographs of the workers and inhabitants of a housing estate in Ghent are a refreshing and original take on the questions of identity that inform so much contemporary South African practice, and a provocative inversion of the usual dynamics of ‘othering’, while his stark images of domestic objects, at once intimate and abject, are a compelling reflection on contemporary urban life.
[Working Title] is a showcase of young artists whose work, while ranging in media and crossing disciplines, shares an uncommon and original approach to contemporary practice.
Thabiso Sekgala (b. 1981 in Johannesburg, South Africa) was a photographer whose work explored themes of abandonment, memory, spatial politics and concept of home.
‘In photography I am inspired by looking at human experience whether lived or imagined,’ Sekgala once expressed. ‘Images capture our history and who we are, our presence and absence. Growing up in both rural and urban South Africa influences my work. The dualities of these both environments inform the stories I am telling through my photographs, by engaging issues around land, peoples’ movement, identity and the notion of home.’
Sekgala held solo exhibitions in South Africa and Europe and exhibited in group shows internationally, including Les Rencontres D’Arles, LagosPhoto Festival and Bamako Biennale. In 2013 he had residencies in both the Kunsterhaus Bethanien, Berlin, and at HIWAR/Durant Al Funun, Jordan.
He studied at Johannesburg’s Market Photo Workshop from 2007 to 2008 and was awarded the Tierney Fellowship in 2010.
Sekgala died in Johannesburg in 2014.
Gabrielle Goliath situates her practice within contexts marked by the traces, disparities and as-of-yet unreconciled traumas of colonialism and apartheid, as well as socially entrenched structures of patriarchal power and rape-culture. Enabling opportunities for affective, relational encounters, she seeks to resist the violence through which black, brown, feminine, queer and vulnerable bodies are routinely fixed through forms of representation.
Goliath has exhibited widely, most recently in the Future Generation Art Prize, Pinchuk Art Centre, Kiev; Conversations in Gondwana, São Paulo Cultural Center, São Paulo; Kubatana – An Exhibition with Contemporary African Artists, Vestfossen Kunstlaboratorium, Norway; Verbo Performance Art Festival, São Paulo, and the Palais de Tokyo’s Do Disturb Festival, Paris. She has won a number of awards including a Future Generation Art Prize/Special Prize (2019), the prestigious Standard Bank Young Artist Award (2019), as well as the Institut Français, Afrique en Créations Prize at the Bamako Biennale (2017). Her work features in numerous public and private collections, including the Tate Modern, the Iziko South African National Gallery, Johannesburg Art Gallery, and the Wits Art Museum. Goliath is currently a Ph.D. candidate with the Institute for Creative Arts at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.
Gerald Machona is a Zimbabwean born Visual artist with a Master’s Degree in Fine Art from Rhodes University and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Cape Town, completed at the Michaelis School of fine art. Machona’s work has been included on several prominent international exhibitions, which include the South African Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale in Italy, All the World’s Futures and at the 20th Biennale of Sydney, The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed. Machona’s work has also appearedin exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum in New York and at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa in Cape Town.
Machona works with sculpture, performance, new media, photography and film. The most notable aspect of his work is his innovative use of currency—particularly decommissioned Zimbabwean dollars—as an aesthetic material. Machona’s current work engages with issues of migration, transnationalism, social interaction and xenophobia in Africa.
In 2013, Machona featured in Mail and Guardian’s 200 Young South African’s supplemental and was selected by Business Day and the Johannesburg Art Fair in 2011 as one of the top ten young African artists practicing in South Africa. In 2019 Machona was included on the group exhibition Still Here Tomorrow to High Five You Yesterday at Zeitz MOCAA in Cape Town.