Mary Sibande: I Came Apart At The Seams

Somerset House, London, United Kingdom
03 Oct 2019 - 05 Jan 2020

From left, MARY SIBANDE, “Living Memory,” 2011 (archival digital print, 126 x 87 cm) and “I Put A Spell On Me,” 2009 (archival digital print, 90 x 60 cm). | via Somerset House

In her first solo exhibition in the UK, Mary Sibande presents a series of photographic and sculptural works exploring the power of imagination and constructive anger in shaping identities and personal narratives in a post-colonial world.

I Came Apart at the Seams follows the transformative journey of Sibande’s avatar, Sophie. Taking form as a series of colourful human-scale sculptures modelled on Sibande herself, Sophie transgresses from her humble beginnings as a domestic housemaid into myriad empowered characters, transcending racial bias and marginalisation. Iterations of these striking installations are also captured in vibrant large-scale photography, documenting Sophie’s journey. Through these works, Sibande pays homage to the generations of women in her family who worked as domestic labourers. In sharing their previously untold stories, Sibande challenges stereotypical depictions of Black women in post-apartheid South Africa throughout history and today.

In partnership with 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair

Mary Sibande’s I Came Apart at the Seams is the seventh exhibition in The Charles Russell Speechlys Terrace Rooms Series, an ongoing partnership with the leading law firm to present a wide range of free exhibitions reflecting the broad interests of both organisations.




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