Nolan Oswald Dennis

Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
27 May 2023 - 01 Jul 2023

Nolan Oswald Dennis, Installation View, 2023.
Courtesy of Goodman Gallery

Nolan Oswald Dennis, Installation View, 2023. Courtesy of Goodman Gallery

Goodman Gallery presents a constellation of studio models, sketches and prototypes from recent experimental black-earth-system research by Nolan Oswald Dennis. Over the past two years, Dennis has been working on a series of earth-system orientated research projects in collaboration with various institutions.

Earth-system refers to the 5 subsystems which produce the environment we are all familiar with and dependant on: the hydrosphere (aquatic systems); geosphere (overground and underground land systems); atmosphere (the air and gaseous systems) biosphere (the living systems) and cryosphere (the frozen systems at the poles). The concept of a black-earth-system adds a sixth system to this structure. Simply put the idea of a black-earth-system allows us to identify the role of oppressive power in earth-systems as well as the counter-practices to this power. Black-earth-system works aim to see beyond the horizon of a world overdetermined by oppressive power.

Dennis (b. 1988, Zambia) is a para-disciplinary artist based in Johannesburg. Their practice explores what they call ‘a black consciousness of space’: the material and metaphysical conditions of decolonization. Dennis’ work questions the politics of space (and time) through a system-specific, rather than site-specific approach. They are concerned with the hidden structures that pre-determine the limits of our social and political imagination. Through a language of diagrams, drawings and models they explore a hidden landscape of systematic and structural conditions that organise our political sub-terrain.




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