STEVENSON, Johannesburg, South Africa 19 Aug 2017 - 13 Oct 2017
Moshekwa Langa, The Parents I (detail), 2017, mixed media on paper, 162 x 122cm
STEVENSON announces Fugitive, a solo exhibition by Moshekwa Langa. Conceived as a homecoming, this will be the artist’s first showing in the Johannesburg gallery, and his first exhibition of new work in this city since 2009.
Since the mid-1990s Langa’s work has interrogated land and public and personal politics through the mapping of territory and cultural environments. This exhibition explores these concepts in terms that are personal but not self-directed. Langa immerses himself in the process but allows it to evolve organically, engaging his work in a reflexive conversation. Langa says: ‘It became paramount for me to have a studio practice in which I would explore various methods and see where they would lead me. I had no clear way of knowing where the various exercises would go; it was more important to see things before me because maybe then I would discover something about not only myself, but also the work.’
These works were produced in Paris and Amsterdam as Langa reflected on his past and in particular the landscape of his home town of Bakenberg as it changed with the onset of platinum mining. Taking on a new life in Johannesburg, his experiments become an articulation of the artist’s concerns with time, memory and the entanglement of context. ‘I was able to collate things that were in some way important to me, and also experiment with other occupations that would happen within the studio. In this way I decided that perhaps the best way to describe my method and way of working was as quite fugitive as I do not start with anything concrete, nor aim at making a defining statement, but merely allude to forms as a means of record-keeping,’ Langa continues.
Created using tape, tar and used sandpaper, featuring collages of spliced referents, his new works become a deliberate form of ‘time-keeping and time-marking in the absence of a concrete record’. Fugitive marks the coming together of artist and process as symbiotic autonomies, questioning what it means to pay homage to and revisit specific geographies in the wake of incomplete recollection.
The exhibition will open on Saturday 19 August, 10am to 1pm.
The artist will present a walkabout on Saturday 9 September at 11 am. All are welcome.
BIOGRAPHY: Moshekwa Langa was born in Bakenberg in 1975 and studied at the Rijksakademie voor Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam in 1997-8. Rising to international prominence in the late 1990s, he was an active participant in what is now considered the golden age of biennales, including those of Johannesburg (1997), Istanbul (1997), Havana (1997), São Paulo (1998 and 2010), Gwangju (2000), Venice (2003 and 2009), and Lyon (2011). Langa has held solo exhibitions at the Centre d’Art Contemporain in Geneva (1999), the Renaissance Society in Chicago (1999), the National Museum of the 21st Century Arts (MAXXI) in Rome (2005), Kunsthalle Bern (2011), Krannert Art Museum in Champaign, Illinois (2013), and the IFA Galleries in Stuttgart and Berlin (2014); and was included on the touring exhibitions The Short Century (2001-2) and Africa Remix (2004-7), among others. He is currently showing in Afrique Capitales, spread across Lille and Paris, France (2017) as well as Art/Afrique, le nouvel atelier at Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris (2017).