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The Joburg Contemporary Art Foundation (JCAF) announces ‘Otherscapes‘. The exhibition – opening to the public on 28 June 2023 – features installations by four contemporary South African artists: Siemon Allen, Wim Botha, Nicholas Hlobo and Sethembile Msezane.

Installation view of exhibition entrance, with Sethembile Msezane, Avuleka AmaZulu (2017) in the background. Courtesy of the Joburg Contemporary Art Foundation. Photographer: Graham De Lacy

Otherscapes’ proposes surveying the scene of contemporary South Africa through four large-scale installations that can be viewed as ‘scapes’. These suggest different takes on the state of the country by exploring narratives around people and nation, identity and place, body and space.

If it were possible to create a collective sense of belonging in South Africa, what would it look like? How would it feel? The four installations evoke architectural qualities, forms that emerge from the landscape, as spectres rather than solid structures. Since they are interactive spatial environments, the viewer must walk around, in or through the installations in order to engage with them. From the illusion of the rainbow nation to the prospect of a failed state, the exhibition interrogates what lies in the space between utopia and failure. The works of Siemon Allen, Wim Botha, Nicholas Hlobo and Sethembile Msezane present subjective views informed by colonialism, politics, memory and spirituality.

Clive Kellner, Executive Director at JCAF, comments: “This exhibition asks, How can art reflect on the current South African situation, not through direct representation but through ideas that reflexively raise important questions about our democracy?”

Otherscapes’ introduces the South African-focused programme taking place at JCAF during 2023, which will culminate in December with the launch of the inaugural edition of the JCAF Journal: Interdisciplinary Knowledge from the South and performances by Robin Rhode: Pictures Reframed and Mandla Mlangeni: Elusive Dreams in Jozi.

Exhibition is on view from the 28th of June until the 4th of November, 2023. Bookings to view the exhibition can be made on the JCAF website.

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