Friends of Iziko South African National Gallery are launching their participation in Artists’ Films International on-line as a way to bring the art to you at home during this corona-virus-stay-home period.
“We’ll be bringing you different AFI films on line over this period, starting with our nominated film.”
Celebrate Friends’ joining of Artists Films International (AFI). AFI is a partnership of 21 public art institutions around the world, organised by the Whitechapel Gallery (London).
Each AFI partner nominates a film made by an artist from their region, and partners show each others nominated films. The films respond to a theme which is different each year. This year’s theme is “language”. The Friends nominated artist is Lerato Shadi, who was born in South Africa and currently lives and works in Berlin.
See more and link to video
Lerato Shadi’s “Mabogo Dinku” (2019) – nominated film for Artists Films International
Lerato Shadi’s work challenges common assumptions to critique Western notions of history and make visible that which is invisible or overlooked. In particular, she critiques the assumption that Western history is world history. In the video, the artist’s hand makes enigmatic gestures and she sings a folk verse in a South African language. But she provides no subtitles or guidance on what the words and gestures mean because she is narrating the un-narratable, the history of her people, marginalised during apartheid South Africa. The history she was taught at school is the history of the coloniser, which she rejects, so what history can she tell? Furthermore, the translation of the language into English or other dominant western language would pay homage to western languages as the “universal” one, continuing the boxing in of others’ mother tongues into the languages of the “other”.
Lerato Shadi was born in Mahikeng, South Africa, and lives and works in Berlin. She graduated from the University of Johannesburg in 2006 and earned a MA in Spatial Strategies from the Weißensee Academy of Art in Berlin. Shadi works across video, performance and installation, often employing repetitive processes. Her work has been included in international exhibitions, most recently at the 14th Curitiba Biennal in Brazil, and at Zeitz MOCAA in Cape Town. She has been awarded the Alumni Dignitas Award of the University of Johannesburg in 2016, the Villa Romana Prize in 2018, and the Berliner Senat Arbeitsstipendium in 2019. Her work is in the collection of the Tate Modern, n.b.k. Videoforum, and Iziko South African National Gallery. Find out more here.
“The Friends look forward to rescheduling the launch party as and when we’re able. In the meantime, we wish you good health and good spirits.”