Posts Tagged ‘Simon Gush’

Artist Francois Knoetze presents a cell phone suit and one of the six Mongo characters in his public art exhibition, Cape Mongo, in Grahamstown on 6 July 2015, at the National Arts Festival. Cape Mongo looks at the stories of these characters, each made from the city’s discarded waste, as they journey through Cape Town. (Photo: CuePix/Mia van der Merwe)

However you look at it, 2015 has been a curious year so far. Not long after the Red Berets staged their version of Karate Kid in Parliament, an understudy to political activist Andile Lili splashed poo on a triumphalist bronze metaphor that, up until recently, lazed on a plinth at an eminent university.

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Simon Gush presents the reproduction of a red Mercedes Benz made for Nelson Mandela as part of his exhibition, Nine O’ Clock, at Fort Selwyn in Grahamstown on 3 July 2015, at the National Arts Festival. Simon Gush’s practice examines this subject of ‘work’. He has dealt with historical and contemporary questions of labour, looking at South African labour relations and Calvinist theory around labour and its ideology that links ‘work’ to being morally ‘good’. (Photo: CuePix/Mia van der Merwe).

The best thing about Simon Gush’s latest exhibition is that it’s not an overt attack on capitalism. Titled Nine O’Clock, this latest body of work is a reflection on labour and its changing meanings in contemporary South Africa.

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Lerato Bereng does not want to be a symbol for anything. The 29 year-old, who was born in Lesotho, is the Festival’s first ever featured curator and she says that despite being a young, black woman in a world that is largely dominated by middle-aged white males, she doesn’t feel any pressure to represent one specific thing.

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