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From August 19, 2022 16:00 to October 09, 2022 05:00


Posted by Galleri Image


Galleri Image presents the exhibition Concurrent with works by the South African artists Thembinkosi Hlatshwayo and Jansen van Staden and curated by John Fleetwood. The exhibition opens on 19 August and runs until 9 October 2022

In the exhibition, the two artists address a number of closely related themes, including transgenerational trauma, memory, family, and societal effects of social conditions such as geography, politics, and accessibility. However, the overriding theme remains apartheid, which has left a permanent mark on South Africa's visual culture and self-understanding, and which has become a symbol in the West of the challenges posed by colonialism. 

Concurrent reworks memories of South Africa’s past through Hlatshwayos og van Staden’s parallel personal histories. By combining Hlatshwayo and van Staden’s respective backgrounds, the exhibition creates an intimate space that contribute to the understanding of South Africa's complex past and present. The entanglement of reading history in photography cannot easily be undone, especially in South Africa where photography’s roots were defined by colonialism, apartheid. Not only did this create a backdrop to photography, but photography became an intrinsic tool of the colonialist and apartheid regime; it was a critical tool in liberation through struggle photography; it continues to offer the possibility to re/define, re/set, and re/think positions, identities and decoloniality.

The series Slaghuis II, is Thembinkosi Hlatshwayo’s response to the growing up in a home, that was also a tavern. Marked by the violence that is associated by his experiences, he now transforms the original spaces of home and tavern into his studio, taking up violence as a visual language. Hlatshwayo’s visual language has become one of working and reworking of photographs, as images, as objects, as textures, ripped and rephotographed after they were exposed to the conditions of the tavern. His performances become a retrace of memories - of interacting with the camera.

In Van Staden’s series Microlight search starts at an end: the death of his father; he then searches back in time, the connections that his father had with family; the artefacts of history at museums and in homes and family albums, to understand the traces of the origins of how the ideologies of apartheid manifested in the South African Border War that disrupted his father’s life at the age of conscription, 17. Much of his work deals with the traumas that now have become intergenerationally entangled.    

Both photographers are thinking of the future of documentary photography and its practice – that the idea of the truth has passed, and that now we can think of documentary photography as experiment, as position. Where Van Staden searches for the original document, in museums, in the stories that families hold, in photo-albums, Hlatshwayo re-photographs the original print that now has become torn, ripped and burnt. Both think of photography as process that can heal memories of violence. By combining the stories of the two artists in one exhibition, curator John Fleetwood presents a nuanced, touching and deeply personal account of a country's shared historical trauma. 

In conjunction with the exhibition, Galleri Image will present a seminar about South African art with the artists and curator. In recent decades, South African art has gained a more significant influence internationally, but it remains relatively unknown in Denmark. Further details about the event to follow.

In addition, a workshop will be held with students from the Jutland Academy of Fine Arts and DMJX.

The exhibition is supported by the Augustinus Foundation, the Danish Arts Foundation and City of Aarhus (Kulturudviklingspuljen).