26 artists for Beyond Binaries

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Manfred Zylla’s 2013 mixed-media work on paper, titled Who Are Yo

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BY BILLY SUTER

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Zemba Luzamba’s Jumper 1, a 2015 mixed-media work on fabric on board.

FOLLOWING months of refurbishment, the Durban Art Gallery (DAG) reopened to the public on December 11, with a new exhibition throughout all gallery spaces.

Running until February 19, it is titled Beyond Binaries, and is a curated exhibition featuring work by 26 artists, explains publicist Illa Thompson.

“The exhibition aims to spark discussion on the current climate of polarisation and intolerance, and the increasing trend towards fixed, essentialised identities.

“Beyond Binaries features works with video, photography, paintings, drawings, sculpture, ceramics, wire and mixed media works on show.

“South African born artists are complemented by their peers born in African countries as well as artists born in India, China and Germany. The exhibition has been curated by Qala!, a fledgling curatorial collective comprising Mario Pissarra, Robin Moodley and Russel Hlongwane, three Durban-born cultural workers.”

Several exhibits address critical questions concerning race, gender, national identity and heritage, says Thompson. The relationship of people to the natural environment provides another sub-theme that is prominently featured. Several exhibits bring binaries into vivid focus, whilst others attempt to transcend these to create or suggest hybrid, fluid or emerging notions of identity.

“KwaZulu-Natal province is well represented by a healthy mix of acclaimed and emerging talents: Cedric Nunn (photography), Sfiso ka Mkame, Mthobisi Maphumulo, Mhlonishwa Chiliza, Eugene Hlophe (drawings), Paul Sibisi and Nicole Pletts (paintings), Thembi Nala and Sbonelo Tau Luthuli (pottery), Hlengiwe Dube (wirework), and Kristin NG-Yang (photography and mixed media).

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Jeannette Unite’s photo-stitched 2015 collage drawing, from the Paradox of Plenty/ Resource Curse series.

“Bulawayo and Libreville, sister cities to Durban, are represented by Nonhlanhla Mathe (painting) and Nathalie Anguezomo Mba Bikoro (video). The exhibition also features Namibian photographer Julia Hango as well as work by African nationals living in South Africa, namely Lizette Chirrime (Mozambique), Robert Machiri (Zimbabwe), and Zemba Luzamba (DRC).”

Also exhibiting are Ayesha Price, Donovan Ward, Garth Erasmus, Jeannette Unite, Jill Joubert, Manfred Zylla, Meghna Singh, Nomusa Makhubu and Thania Petersen

The artists were selected following a process where 54 artists identified by a curatorial panel were invited to propose works on the theme of the exhibition.

Beyond Binaries was originally commissioned by the City of eThekwini for the recent Essence Festival Durban, where it was exhibited at the International Convention Centre under the banner of ARTiculate Africa.

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…………………………..EXTRA INFORMATION……………………………..
DAG is open seven days a week: Monday to Saturday from 8.30am until 3.45pm, and Sundays from 11am until 3.45pm. Entry is free and all are welcome! For more info, contact the Gallery on 031 311 2264 / 9 or Jabu.Mngwengwe@durban.gov.za (weekdays). DAG is on the second floor of the magnificent Durban City Hall building; enter opposite the Playhouse in the heart of the city of Durban.

 


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