What is South Africa, even? Vol.2

Presented at the Bag Factory Artists’ Studios, Johannesburg, 28 February – 20 March 2019

Featuring Jasmin Valcarcel, Thina Dube, Ronald Muchatuta, Vivien Kohler, Neo Gilder, Andrew Ntshabele and Simphiwe Buthelezi.

Curated by Carlyn Strydom

With a special performance by The Dark Cow

The exhibition is a long-term project which aims to reflect on our shared experiences as people living in South Africa. This second iteration of What is South Africa, even? continues to explore the notion of a country coming to terms with itself as a diverse and complex society. Not bound by national borders or nationality, the exhibition is an attempt to understand and imagine a country beyond the outdated and parochial definition of the term ‘nation’. Each selected artist brings personal insight to the theme, contributing to a wider conversation on the relevance of such a term given our myriad ‘origin stories’ (thinking historically).

As a country trying to recover from its violent history which extends beyond its borders, an interrogation of the past and its impact on our present-day lived realities is essential. How have structural inequalities shaped the country? How do our own histories and expectations living here reflect how we interact with the space that is South Africa? The diverse group of artists, who are “South African” and “non-South African”, explore themes of belonging, depression in black men, identity politics, isolation and migration, using a range of artistic methods to produce a cohesive exhibition.


The catalogue is available here

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