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What It Is. a group show.

What it is. a group show.

5 DEC 2018 – 26 JAN 2019

Featuring artists: Zenande Mketeni, Bulumko Mbete, Jessica Bosworth-Smith, Shomtwala Ndeedna Shivute, Nelago Shilongoh, Kirstin Warries, Akudzwe Elsie Chiwa, Shakil Solanki, Haidee Nel

Curated by Lemeeze Davids


Cataloguing information into neat boxes is what humans do best. We understand the world through names, umbrella terms, and fixed markers of identity because sometimes, it can be difficult to make sense of a world that is constantly changing. Our names are important to us because they are supposed to stand in for everything we are, even representing the things that we do not know about ourselves. While some identify with their given name, others find their real name as life goes on. Either way, we may feel compelled to find a piece of language that is all our own, and that can totally capture our apparent uniqueness.

This exhibition, What It Is, aims to delve into the relationship with one’s own identity, which is the ever-changing set of desires and intentions that we try to name. Instead of placing a solid stake in the ground, this show reflects on the reiterations and overlapping of what we think is ourselves and our world. Are things simply what they are? By hosting a number of works that are series, and/or repetitive, the pieces have multiple representations to voice their message, and provide avenues into different narratives of interpretation.

In its multiples, What It Is, draws a number of artists together that are thinking about how to draw borders around their self and society. The artists’ works are in dialogue with one another, unfolding topics such as personal mythologies, the link between consumer identity and environment, and the names that are monumentalised in a post-colonial society. The work contends with this heavy topic by addressing it from many different viewpoints.