photography / etchings / graphics
Accompanying program: FotoFactory.Lagos
February 19, 2022 – May 1, 2022
The art of South Africa has been undergoing a major transformation in recent decades – due to the transition from an authoritarian apartheid regime to a democracy elected in 1994. With works by Santu Mofokeng, William Kentridge as well as Banele Khoza, the exhibition at the Kunsthaus provides revealing insights into the various facets of current South African art.
Stories / Photography
Born in South Africa in 1956 and deceased in 2020, the photographic artist dedicated himself since the mid-1980s to documenting stories that unfolded on the fringes of his country: the lives of families, sharecroppers and workers in the townships – housing estates for the “black population.” In contrast to the sensational images of propaganda, violence, and inequality, Mofokeng’s photographs build an understanding of everyday life during and after apartheid in an emphatically indirect and restrained way. As one of the few Black photographers active in the turbulent decade before the end of apartheid, Santu Mofokeng was able to observe peripheral South African communities up close and from the inside.
“Stories” is the first exhibition in Germany to span a full arc of Mofokeng’s three-decade career: From his first images of workers’ strikes, political rallies and religious rituals spontaneously performed on a commuter train between Soweto and Johannesburg, to his unique photographs of life on the streets, homes and shebeens (illegal drinking dens) in townships like Bloemhof and Dukathole. In addition, Mofokeng’s acclaimed slide show “The Black Photo Album / Look at Me: 1890-1950” will be on view.
Domestic Scenes / Etchings
William Kentridge was born in Johannesburg in 1955 and is one of South Africa’s most prominent contemporary artists. He works in the media of drawing, writing, film, performance, music, and often across their boundaries. His art is based on themes from politics, science, literature, and history, often leaving room for contradictions and uncertainties.
Kentridge’s work has been on view internationally since the 1990s in museums, galleries, theaters, and opera houses, and is shown in many major museums and institutions. He has received honorary doctorates from several universities, including Yale and the University of London; his awards include the Kyoto Prize (2010), the Princess of Asturias Prize (2017), and the Praemium Imperiale Prize (2019).
The exhibition at the Kunsthaus will feature a selection of his 54-sheet series Domestic Scenes (1980). This important sequence of etchings, which he created at the age of 25, depicts a range of human behaviors in domestic settings, reflecting not only influences from artists such as Matisse and Bacon, but also Kentridge’s thinking and conceptual approaches.
Diary Entries / Graphic
The complex inner workings of romantic desire and the expansion of the concept of masculinity are the subject of Banele Khoza’s artistic exploration. Born in Swaziland in 1994, the artist now works in Johannesburg, where in 2018 he founded BKhz – an amalgamation of open studio, project space and gallery – where he is joined by other artists* of his generation. Works on paper in washed-out, bright or somber colors characterize Khoza’s figurative to abstract visual language.
The figures in his works not only reflect the artist’s longings, but also mark a search for interpersonal presence and intimacy in an age increasingly shaped by social media. The exhibition on view at Kunsthaus Göttingen is the first survey of Khoza’s work to be shown in an exhibition house outside the African continent. It thus provides an insight into the young generation of the South African art scene.
Curated Joshua Chuang
Joshua Chuang could be won as guest curator for the exhibition. He was the first curator to establish photography at the Art Gallery of Yale University, where he served as chief curator. Today, he works as head of the Wallach Division of Art, Prints & Photographs and, until recently, as curator of photography at the New York Public Library and teaches at the Yale University School of Art.
Accompanying program: FotoFactory.Lagos
FotoFactory.Lagos offers an extensive program to promote young Nigerian photography, organizes photo workshops, issues publications, organizes exhibitions and promotes African photography internationally. The program is also committed to building archives and research facilities in Nigeria to preserve important examples of Nigerian photography, documenting important sites of cultural heritage.
Founded in 2016 by Eva Maria Ocherbauer and Sylvester Okwunodu Ogbechie, the program succeeds the LagosPhoto Summer School, a collaboration with the African Artists’Foundation initiated in 2013 as part of the LagosPhoto Festival. For more information: https://fotofactorylagos.de/.
This event will no longer take place this month. Click on the arrows to get an overview of the next months.
(registration is required)