A Different Now is Close Enough to Exhale on You – Group Show
Goodman Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa 24 Nov 2022 - 14 Jan 2023
Danielle Mckinney, A different now is close enough to exhale on you (Detail), 2022. Courtesy of Goodman Gallery
Goodman Gallery presents A Different Now is Close Enough to Exhale on You, a group exhibition in three parts, guest-curated by Yaounde-born, Berlin-based curator and writer Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung. The exhibition takes place across the Johannesburg and Cape Town galleries alongside a satellite exhibition at Umhlabathi Collective in Johannesburg.
Featured artists: Theresah Ankomah, Leo Asemota, Karimah Ashadu, Rehema Chachage, Ange Dakouo, Adama Delphine Fawundu, Tanka Fonta, Eric Gyamfi, Paul Maheke, Keli Safia Maksud, Georgina Maxim, Danielle McKinney, Sabelo Mlangeni, Abraham Oghobase, Olu Oguibe, Farkhondeh Shahroudi, Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum, Dior Thiam, Rubem Valentim, Sunette L. Viljoen
The exhibition’s conceptual framework extends from musings over the lyrical content of Cameroonian singer-songwriter and political activist Lapiro de Mbanga’s anthem No Make Erreur (1986). At the heart of the show is an exploration of the systems and relationships that comprise the history of power, extraction and exploitation. It also highlights the histories of resilience, defiance and communion that exist despite dehumanising forms of subjugation. This is articulated through the works of 20 artists from across multiple geographies:
“I wanted to bring together artists whose works I have deeply admired, especially because their works are framed between the polarities of poeticality and politicality. What they all have in common is an ability to approach some of the most sensitive sociopolitical issues with prudence, profundity, and in solidarity, while still possessing a strong aesthetic bearing. When I was approached to curate this exhibition, I was reading Eloghosa Osunde’s essay ‘& Other Stories,’ from which I borrowed the exhibition’s title, which symbolised something of a trust that in these times of dread, artists and culture at large play an important role in crafting our worlds” – Ndikung.
Featuring works that engage with climate change, spatial histories and narratives of conquest and oppression, the entangled nature of the exploitation of people and nature are examined. Ndikung builds a geographical and temporal map, gesturing towards the precarity of human existence constructed through processes of othering that can be found at the core of the colonial project.
Art is also explored as the space in which the work of allyship, conviviality and solidarity can be practised. The inclusion of works that explore remembrance and resistance enables an avenue for unpacking the position that art holds in pushing back against systemic erasure.
The exhibition extends to Umhlabathi Collective located at the old Market Photo Workshop in downtown Johannesburg. Titled Downtown Theory: Degrees of comparison, this satellite show focuses on a selection of photographs by members of the collective, namely Jabulani Dhlamini, Lebohang Kganye, Andile Komanisi, Tshepiso Mabula ka Ndongeni, Tshepiso Mazibuko, Sabelo Mlangeni Andrew Tshabangu, Thandile Zwelibanzi. This show grapples with questions about what it means to live in the now while haunted by ghosts of the past. It builds on the Goodman Gallery exhibitions by considering physical and political topographies.
The exhibition taking place across three locations allows for the artworks and the themes to be read together and apart. In this way, the artworks speak to each other not only across the gallery floor, but between cities.