Weltkulturen Museum, Francfort a.M., Germany
03 Dec 2015 - 24 Jul 2016


Test installation for the exhibition A LABOUR OF LOVE, Weltkulturen Labor 2015. Photo: Wolfgang Günzel.

The exhibition A LABOUR OF LOVE focusses on a key part of the Weltkulturen Museum’s contemporary art collection: 600 works from South Africa which the museum acquired in 1986. These works were all produced by black artists including internationally renowned figures such as Peter Clarke, Lionel Davis, David Koloane and Sam Nhlengethwa.

A LABOUR OF LOVE comes 28 years after the first exhibition of this collection was held in Frankfurt. It re-examines a selection of these works inspired by very different readings of the idea of love – from interpersonal relations to the passion and commitment which influenced both the creation of the works and the history of the collection’s acquisition.

The exhibition also integrates a contemporary perspective on this special collection through new works produced by four South African art students in response to the collection and its specific history. This perspective is further expanded by works created in the Weltkulturen Labor by Sam Nhlengethwa, during a residency in July 2015.

The exhibition is curated by Gabi Ngcobo (artist, curator, educator at the Wits School of Arts and founder of the Center for Historical Reenactments Johannesburg) and Dr. Yvette Mutumba (Research Curator Africa at the Weltkulturen Museum).

Participating artists:

Sam Nhlengethwa as well as Wits School of Arts students Michelle Monareng, Matshelane Xhakaza, Chad Cordeiro and Nathaniel Sheppard.

The accompanying publication not only includes new articles by Yvette Mutumba, Gabi Ngcobo, Ciraj Rassool, Same Mdluli and Neo Muyanga, but also interviews with, among others, David Koloane, Peter Clarke, Bongi Dhlomo-Mautloa, Charles Nkosi, and Lionel Davis. In addition, it contains unique archival material as well as numerous images of works from the museum’s collection and new productions. Published in German and English by Kerber Verlag.

Funded by the TURN Fund of the German Federal Cultural Foundation.

Exhibition opening: 2nd December 2015