Thembalakhe Prospect Shibase: Paint, Masculinity, Power and Violence

By philip
26 February 2013

Thembalakhe Prospect Shibase interrogates the often stereotypical and homogenized notion of an authentic African culture. Shibase is a multi-talented artist from Kwa-Zulu Natal. His work is inspired by daily life encounters in the city in which he lives and focuses on a variety of issues centered around identity, particularly racial and political, within the context of an urban environment.

“My work is an attempt to engage and expose the conflict and ambiguity, maybe even the subtlety which is part and parcel of attempting to define Authentic African Identity in this complex global village. ”

Shibase recently completed his Master of Technology degree in Fine Art at Durban University of Technology where he also lectures Painting, Drawing and Art Theory. He is currently enrolled for a PhD in Gender Studies at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal.

Over the past 5 years he has exhibited in numerous major group exhibitions in Durban, Johannesburg, Cape Town and recently New York. His work featured in the Spier Contemporary Art Award – 2007 exhibition as one of the finalists. In 2008 he was again nominated as a finalist in the MTN Young Contemporaries Art Award. His work is included in corporate, public and private collections both locally and internationally.

“Conceptually, this new body of work is a development from my previous pre-occupation with the idea of Dictatorship and self serving leadership, a problem which has plagued Africa and many other parts of the developing world since independence. In that series I looked at various political, economic and social issues concerning Africa with the view to unpack some of the underlying reasons behind the slow pace of development in this continent.

In the current body of work I have gone further than critiquing leadership and institutions which are often responsible for failing the people they represent. I am now interested in the link between masculinity, power and violence which, in addition to other things, seem to all together make up the recipe for an oppressive and violent society. In this context oppression and violence are not only viewed from the context of state politics but instead, from a societal view in which these two things (oppression and violence) occur in the private, public, corporate, and other domains.

In essence, the assumption from which this questioning body of work is premised is that there is a direct link between masculinity, patriarchy, power, oppression and violence.  Through paint and the process of painting I have tried to reveal such links,” explains Shibase.

Erdmann Contemporary is proud to announce Thembalakhe Prospect Shibase’s second solo exhibition Paint, Masculinity, Power & Violence.
Date:              27 February – 23 March 2013
Opening:       Wednesday 27 February @6pm
Venue:          ErdmannContemporary
Hours:           Tue – Fri 10am – 5pm & Sat 11am – 2pm

& The Photographers Gallery za
63 Shortmarket Street
8001 Cape Town
Tel:  021 422 2762  Fax:  021 422 3278