Erdmann Contemporary presents the group exhibition Co-Existence featuring the work of Mexican photographer Jan Smith, Australian painter Bronwen Vaughan-Evans and South African lens-based artist Nomusa Makhubu.
This exhibition includes three series of work by artist and art historian, Nomusa Makhubu, including the acclaimed, and now expanded series, Self-Portrait Project, Inquietude and her latest series, photographed in Lagos, Nigeria, entitled, The Flood. Makhubu is a recent PhD graduate and full time lecturer at the Michaelis School of Fine Art at the University of Cape Town. Her mode of address in Self-Portrait Project (2007/2013) involves projecting images of the self onto found colonial photographs. In her 2009 series, Inquietude Makhubu continued her focus on identity and self representation within the broader context of migration. In her latest series, The Flood (2013) Makhubu opted for a departure; from the private to the public sphere. Trapped in a taxi during a flash flood in Lagos, Makhubu she documented those around her.
This exhibition includes Jan Smith’s full series entitled Nouadhibou – Where ships go to Die (2008). Place of the Jackal – This is the translation of the name of the town of Nouadhibou, Mauritania. Once a fishing village, Nouadhibou is now a large industrial port and the world’s largest ship cemetery, with more than 500 abandoned wrecks floating in its waters. The irony of the name, and the image of scavenging predators that it invokes, is not lost on Smith, who had to endure many adventures to eventually capture these images of destruction. Smith focuses his lens on a variety of floating vessels, rusted and covered in barnacle. Abandoned, floating with no purpose other than to finally sink, these vessels have outlived their usefulness. Like lovers, these wrecks cling to each another in a hope of staying afloat. Smith uses the dichotomy of hope in the face of despair as the basis for his compositions. Whilst his photographs portray these vessels as still majestic and powerful, heroically denying their fate, there is no doubt in the viewers mind that the ominous rising swell of the black sea will be the final victor.
Bronwen Vaughan-Evans references her own photography in her uniquely constructed and layered gesso on board paintings. Her monochromatic palette alludes to a metaphorical weight beneath the surface of things. Vaughan-Evans is South African born; now living and working in Melbourne, Australia, her minimalist paintings poignantly comments on issues of alienation and migration.
Opening reception on Tuesday 30 September at 6 pm