Three to articulate SA’s story in Venice exhibit

Tracey Rose
Tracey Rose
Image: Corporate Icons Media

SA is putting its visual artists to the fore at the 58th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia in Italy.

Strength and resilience come into sharp view as critically acclaimed curators Nomusa Makhubu and Nkule Mabaso have risen alongside a three-member team of visual artists, Dineo Seshee Bopape, Tracey Rose and Mawande Ka Zenzile, to represent SA at the Venice event.

The team are hosting art lovers at the South African Pavilion until November 24.

Established in 1895, La Biennale di Venezia is one of the world’s oldest art events, with more than 80 countries and artists represented at individual pavilions.

Mabaso and Makhubu have curated a response to the global theme, May You Live in Interesting Times, by Ralph Rugoff, curator of the 58th biennale.

Reflecting on SA’s ability to creatively triumph beyond “interesting” social and political dynamics, Mabaso and Makhubu conceptualised the exhibition under the theme: The Stronger We Become. According to Rugoff, the theme seeks to include and reflect the “precarious aspects of existence today, including different threats to key traditions, institutions and relationships of the post-war order”.

With the theme The Stronger We Become; SA’s peaceful transition to democracy, and its people’s ability to overcome challenges and chart a new path, it aptly responds to the many precarious aspects of the country’s 25 years in the new dispensation.

Mabaso and Makhubu have for a long time admired the works of Bopape, Rose and Ka Zenzile, who are at the forefront of “critically engaging SA’s contemporary life and lived experiences” of its citizens.

“We are confident they are best placed to articulate these ideals,” the curators said.

SA’s participation at the biennale was driven by the department of arts and culture.