Contemporary photographic exhibitions interrogates socio-political issues and black and brown female identity
Lizamore & Associates showcases three photographic solo exhibitions by Justin Dingwall, Tsoku Maela and Manyatsa Monyamane respectively. These exhibitions interrogate socio-political issues like xenophobia, diaspora, and black and brown female identity. Fly by night by Justin Dingwall, No more clichés, please by Tsoku Maela, and Serithi by Manyatsa Monyamane opens on 1 March at 18:00.
Fly by night by Justin Dingwall
In Fly by night, Justin Dingwall continues his ongoing investigation of depicting beauty in difference, whilst focussing specifically on xenophobia, diaspora and migration across the African continent and the negative stigma’s that are often related to these constructs. The artist started conceptualising this body of work during the uproar of xenophobic attacks across South Africa and his conceptualising stems from the “Black Swan Theory”. This metaphor describes an event that comes as a surprise, has a major effect, and is often inappropriately rationalized after the fact with the benefit of hindsight. The term is based on an ancient saying which presumed black swans did not exist, but the saying was rewritten after black swans were discovered in the wild. Fly by Night expresses the perception of the unforeseen and unexpected calamity that occurs with xenophobic attacks and migration. In what some perceived as predictable circumstance in reaction to the pressures placed on society, others viewed with shock and disbelief. The black swan theory emphasises that knowledge comes with hindsight. These images aim to provide a means of coming to terms with these societal issues, like xenophobia, diaspora and migration, in an effort to increase our awareness towards changing our perceptions.
This exhibition marks the debut of Dingwall’s new body of work. Although selected pieces from this body of work has been exhibited locally and internationally, this is the first time the body of work is housed together.
NO MORE CLICHÉS, PLEASE BY TSOKU MAELA
SERITHI BY MANYATSA MONYAMANE
Tsoku Maela turns his lens towards capturing the resistance of young brown women whilst pointedly addressing the clichés that are associated with resistance and the brown female figure. No more clichés, please is his first solo exhibition with Lizamore & Associates. This body of work shares the narratives of young brown women who choose to rewrite the ambivalence of a cognitively dissonant history bias against brown women who fought alongside glorified and often misogynous men. Through this body of work, Maela salutes these brown women’s refusal to comply and conform to heteronormative standards as the status-quo whilst subtly urging the viewer to do the same. Simultaneously, the artist addresses the cliché of resistance that is often encapsulated in the contours and shapes the brown female figure. “Resistance is the low-hanging fruit from the tree of self-love, a tree deeply rooted in the love for other brown women and all people alike. It’s not her fault the world at large has turned her love into a thing of politics and in that sense self-love - for the woman of colour - has become a form protest. So, I urge you to reconsider that position. To not uphold these clichés while thinking of the woman of colour. To not see or feel resistance, but to see love” says Maela.
Manyatsa Monyamane debuts at Lizamore with her solo exhibition Serithi. This body of work explores the depiction of powerful black women. The artist explains: “When a confident black woman strut through a space, her presence is announced by the energy she exudes. Her gait, attire and sheer elegance precede her, forming unshakable, roaring opinions in the minds of those looking on”. Such women would have a certain phrase associated with their characters. In the African culture, you may hear someone utter “Mme o, ona le serithi” which loosely translates to “This woman has a powerful aura”. She jolts you from your sense of comfort and compels you to lean forward and take notice of her, for she exists. Each woman who contributed to this series brings forth a different personality whilst maintaining a true sense of self. This series embraces the multiplicity of characteristics that make each woman intensely unique in terms of her aptitude to embrace everything that comes with being a black woman. Monyamane was awarded the Thami Mnyele Mentorship Prize in 2017 and is currently working towards a solo exhibition at Lizamore & Associates in 2019 under the mentorship of Senzeni Marasela.
These exhibitions open on 1 March 2018 at 18:00 and will run until 28 March 2018 at Lizamore & Associates gallery (155 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood, Johannesburg).