Stevenson presents INTAKA ENDALA EPHEZU’ KOMKHOMBE OMHLOPHE, a solo exhibition by Paulo Nazareth at the Johannesburg gallery.
Comprising sculpture, installation, drawing, photography and painting, using both naturally occurring and artificial materials, INTAKA ENDALA EPHEZU’ KOMKHOMBE OMHLOPHE spotlights the interplay of paradoxes between the immediate needs of life and the assumed requirements of a modernity governed by global white supremacy.
The title of this exhibition translates from isiXhosa as ‘an old bird on top of a white rhinoceros’, an idiom that speaks about symbiosis, questioning what is perceived as valuable and what is designated parasitic. In exploring this notion Nazareth uses the maize crop as a foundational metaphor. Black and white species of this crop, first exhibited in the group exhibition my whole body changed into something else and cultivated at the gallery, are installed to highlight the tension of value between the real and the representational.
On the occasion of the work’s first showing, Sisipho Ngodwana wrote:
“In A MAZE, a brick is placed on a corncob laid directly on the floor. We may assume that the work references the domestication of corn from Central America to Africa, where it is now called maize and has become one of the continent’s biggest home-grown crops. The pun in the title suggests that the expansion of the slave trade and the consequential economic growth in the West is as much a conglomeration of movement and displacement as it is a network of near-unfathomable and complex paths that demand further and sometimes involuntary migration.”
In INTAKA ENDALA EPHEZU’ KOMKHOMBE OMHLOPHE, Nazareth introduces new images into his repertoire, including the pink flamingo. Integrated into the artist’s lexicon this bird is offered as an emblem of safety. Known for moving only when threatened, its assured presence in INTAKA ESEFESTILENI, a pyramidal installation constructed with polenta corn and wild bird seed, is offered as a totem of safe harbour for the marginal and migratory.
This is Nazareth’s second solo exhibition with Stevenson, following PHAMBI KWENDLOVU in Cape Town in 2019, and is his first in the gallery’s Johannesburg space. Click here to view online presentation.
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