FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The General Consulate of Colombia in New York
10 East 46 street
New York, NY 10017
212 798 900I
Invites you to the exhibition:
Lights from the Island – Luces desde la Isla
“Es una isla. Gente Blanca estuvo construyendo, en 1924 más o menos, un museo, una capilla, una pileta de natación. Las obras están concluidas y abandonadas.” — La
invención de Morel, Adolfo Bioy Casares
Andrea Arrubla - Vincent Bezuidenhout - Andrés Burgos - Julián Chams -C.J. Chueca - María Elvira Dieppa - Sarah Grass - Christian Hincapié -Diana
Sofia Lozano - Iliana Ortega - Juan Camilo Rodelo – Zulu Padilla
Curator: Alexis Pacheco – Maria Elvira Dieppa
Opening: Thursday Abril 12, 2018
On View: Abril 12 – May 1, 2018
Lights from the Island is a contemporary art exhibition in which six Colombian artists, living and working in New York City, were asked to invite further six with the
premise of each artist’s work relating to one another. This unconventional curatorial methodology is inspired by Abby Warburg’s Atlas, famous for revealing secret connections between images apparently distant in appearance. In the exhibition the work of 12 artists/islands interlock forming an archipelago of thoughts and ideas. The project refers to the Caribbean which parts intersect with other often alien territories and cultures, and because of that it has to constantly deal with belonging and not, with being here and at the same time somewhere else, like the characters
in Bioy Casares novel La invención de Morel.
RUBBER FACTORY is pleased to present a group exhibition examining nationalism and violence based on the text "Imagined Communities" by Benedict Anderson. The show includes works by Jon Henry, Yael Malka, Myeongsoo Kim, Pacifico Silano, Maggie Shannon, Minstrel Kuik, Carlos Jimenez Cahua, Catalina Ouyang, Hank Willis Thomas, Res, Vincent Bezuidenhout, Farideh Sakhaeifar, Lionel Cruet, Hong-An Truong & Huong Ngo.
Imagined Communities investigates the origins of Nationalism as a modern condition and serves as the starting point for our group exhibition. From the influence of rationalist secularism to the conception of homogenous, empty time, Anderson outlines the convergence of factors which led to nationhood as a vehicle for the creation of meaning and ultimately self-sacrifice.
As Nationalism is revitalized through increasingly extreme rhetoric whether it is nativism or protectionism, the exhibition explores this new wave of anxiety around nation-hood and ways nation-ness is constructed. Whether it is through the oblique nature of our informational channels which function as echo chambers reminiscent of the earliest ways Nationalism spread through print media or the conflation of meaning with sacrifice, it is clear that there are precedents for how Nationalism as a construct has led to and sustained cycles of violence.
Imagined Communities includes Hank Willis Thomas's reflective mirror pieces which appropriate imagery from the civil rights era, George W. Bush's family home as documented by Maggie Shannon and a video by Farideh Sakhaeifar which conflates NASA spaceship launches with ISIS bombings. The group exhibition aims to complicate and implicate conversations around the theme by co-opting Anderson's own way of contextualizing Nationalism, " ... nationalism has to be understood by aligning it, not with self-consciously held political ideologies, but with the large cultural systems that preceded it, out of which - as well as against which - it came into being". By acknowledging larger cultural systems such as capitalism, slavery, the industrial military complex, perhaps Nationalism can be delineated from the politics of Nationalism; allowing us to consider more open-ended questions. For example, is Nationalism intrinsically violent since it assumes an other and requires intensive cycles of suffering/glory as modes of imagining communities.
Imagined Communities: Nationalism & Violence December 16 - January 31, 2017 - 2018
Opening: December 16, 6 to 8
I am a participant in the 2017 Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program: Visual and Multidisciplinary Arts. The latest addition of NYFA’s Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program pairs immigrant artists working in the visual and multidisciplinary arts with artist mentors who provide one-on-one support for their artistic practice.
During the program, mentors will guide their mentees to achieve specific goals, providing them with broader access to the New York cultural world through an exchange of ideas, resources, and experiences. Additionally, the mentoring program aims to foster a community, providing opportunities to connect with other immigrant artists through group meetings, peer learning, and information gatherings that include alumni from 2007 to the present. Through access to other artists, arts professionals, and organizations, the program offers immigrant artists the opportunity to focus on their creative practice and gain support and exposure to their work while upholding their distinctive identities.
I am thrilled to be exhibiting in Australia with some of the foremost African artists of my generation including Mohau Modisakeng, Michael Macgarry, Athi Patra Ruga, Gerald Machona and many more, in what will be the most important exhibition of African contemporary art shown in Australia in recent times.. Curated by Gerald Sanyangore, Valerie Kabov and Roelof van Wyk,. More...
I participated in this podcast by journalist Rasmus Bitsch on 'Nuclear South Africa' in terms of my research presented in the project Fail Deadly.
It is a great listen, connecting the struggle against apartheid, the Cold War, and South Africa’s development of nuclear weapons. Listen Here
Nobushige Kono and I collaborated on a video project which will be screened as part of the second biennial of the Boda Boda Lounge Project, a cross-continental video art project
hosted by 15 arts organisations across the continent on the weekend of 18 – 20 November.
The Hosting Hubs across the continent are:
HASSET, Addis ababa university school of fine art and design, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Médina Art & Culture, Bamako, Mali; KZNSA Gallery, Durban, South Africa; Greatmore Studios, Cape Town, South Africa; Kër Thiossane, Dakar, Senegal; Les Ateliers SAHM, Brazzaville, Congo; Yolé!Africa, Kinshasa, DRC; Accra[dot]Alt, Accra, Ghana; Nafasi Art Space, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; 32º East | Ugandan Arts Trust, Kampala, Uganda; /a.r.i.a/ Artist Residency In Algiers in partnership with Espace d’art contemporain Espaco, Algiers, Algeria; Logomatic design and graphic art studio, Lusaka, Zambia; La Rotonde des Arts, Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire; Centre d'Art Waza, Lubumbashi, DRC and Van Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria
Together with a selection of other African artists I was asked by APhI to reinterpret some archival images from the Cameroon Press Photo Archives. The publication will be available in 2017 but in the meantime here is the online edition:
From Afrika Süd. Magazine, no.5, 2016, Germany, Tymon Smith.
I have some work on the exhibition 100 Geographies at the University of Stellenbosch Museum. Organised by the Society of South African Geographers to celebrate a century of geography teaching and research the exhibition presents an interesting intersection between art and geography.
More information here.
Artist Vincent Bezuidenhout’s latest exhibition, Fail Deadly, examines the country’s clandestine nuclear weapons programme in the 1970s and ‘80s. But, more important, it asks who is constructing our history – both then and now. By MARELISE VAN DER MERWE.
Full interview here.
A short interview with Setumo-Thebe Mohlomi from the Goethe Institut about my exhibition Fail Deadly.
The original interview can be found here.
Vincent Bezuidenhout's exhibition Fail Deadly at GoetheonMain interogates apartheid South Africa's nuclear project.
Vincent Bezuidenhout holds a Masters degree in Fine Art from the University of Cape Town's Michaelis School of Fine Art and was the the recipient of the 2010/11 Tierney Fellowship. His exhibition Fail Deadly at GoetheonMain interogates apartheid South Africa's nuclear project.
What sparked your initial interest in this particular aspect of the apartheid project; can you explain briefly the personal journey you went through when creating this work?
My practice is concerned with the psychology of power and the validity of memory relative to history. In a previous project, Separate Amenities, I used landscape photographs to focus on the constructed landscape as an expression of the psychology of those who implemented it. In a similar manner I wanted Fail Deadly to reflect on a specific moment in South African history in order to consider the use of power by the architects of apartheid. Initially wanting to create photographs of a secret weapons program which does not exist anymore, the project progressed into an investigation surrounding censorship, the limitations of the medium of photography and in fact the limits to what representation can reveal.
How has your personal upbringing influenced your interest in various aspects of apartheid?
As a white, Afrikaans artist, who grew up in the death throes of apartheid in South Africa, my past have shaped my current practice in terms of a reflection on my identity in relation to the history of power which still shapes our reality today. By conflating the incompatible narratives of my conflicted personal, as well as our collective history, I attempt to use omission and cover ups to confront these incomplete narratives as a manifestation of power.
How do you see your work sit alongside what is being done to change or erase aspects of apartheid from SA’s collective memory?
The lack of disclosure and failure of justice being served regarding this clandestine program speaks to a bigger constructed narrative which permeates all of South African history. Fail Deadly serves to highlight this failure through exploiting the problematic nature of photography and the validity of official information as the sole creators of history.
One of your recent projects, Banned Vol. II, shows footage that was banned during apartheid. Do you think SA’s history of censorship is repeating itself obtrusively and unobtrusively?
The Banned project was censored in Uganda and Zimbabwe for the inclusion of footage of a homosexual nature. Regardless of both countries controversial laws regarding homosexuality, the paradox of censoring footage which was originally banned during apartheid reminds one that when there is a transition of power within a state, the mechanisms of the previous regime is also transferred. We must be vigilant of the rewriting of history but also of how it is created today.
How comfortably do you think the current work ‘Fail Deadly’ sits in the GoetheonMain gallery space which is located in the Maboneng Precinct of Johannesburg?
It is my opinion that if art is not political it is not art. I am also keenly aware of how art and artists are being used by others to advance many different agendas. With increasing inequality, censorship and in fact a ‘war on the truth’ both here and abroad, it is more important than ever for cultural institutions to be brave through strengthening their support for the arts which in many ways have become the last place to speak the truth.
Setumo-Thebe Mohlomi conducted the interview with Vincent Bezuidenhout in July 2016
Fail Deadly exhibition essay by Chad Rossouw.
I was recently interviewed about my show, Fail Deadly at Goethe on Main, by Michelle Constance on SAFM. Here is the transcript in which I speak about the history behind this project as well as the origin of the Black Landscape series:
'The more one takes in the work with regard to its historical contextualization, the more broader ideas percolate and bubble to the surface of consciousness...Like the so-called evidence that forms its basis ‘Fail Deadly’ with its small but carefully curated selection of pieces raises more questions than it answers but that in itself is part of its appeal and intellectual reward. It provides an elegant demonstration of the cliché that sometimes less is more, more or less. It doesn’t tell you what happened in the middle of the ocean at the edge of the world in September 1979 but it certainly shows you that something did. Something still important enough that it’s on a need-to-know basis and according to someone, no one needs to know'.
Full text on Artthrob.