@ERG - SETLAMORAGO MASHILO: THE LAND WILL DECIDE
Jul 26 – Aug 18, 2018
THE LAND WILL DECIDE
EVERARD READ GALLERY
26 JULY 2018 – 18 AUGUST 2018
Reflections on various issues concerning the Land have proven to be highly contentious and complex in their nature, and rightly so. South Africa finds itself at a critical historical moment where questions and disputes around land ownership and usage have been prioritised with urgency. Yet, in some instances, the complexities that underlie these reflections have been treated rather superficially. Land is, arguably, a deeply politicised, culturalised, and perhaps even spiritualised entity.
This body of work attempts to offer a mindful deliberation on issues of usurpation, occupation, displacement, migration, labour, lineage, alienation and belonging; themes which have been central to many a conversation about the land in South Africa. Furthermore, in examining these aspects, there is an intentional scrutiny of just how gendered these conversations have been. This is partly relayed through the artist’s personal reflection of his own familial history where he recounts and metaphorises the matriarchal influence that determined the trajectory for his family of land owners.
The Land Will Decide resolves to rethink the very ideation of “Land” from its literal understanding as simply territory. By personifying the Land as a living entity, it becomes an agent partaking in the many incongruent conversations currently unfolding in the country until, ultimately, it will decide our and, indeed, its own fate.