KEMANG WA LEHULERE
The Tate Modern in London is a massive two building museum interconnected by a bridge. With panoramic views of London and the surrounding area it is no wonder this forward-thinking museum is an attraction regardless of the art it displays. My recent trip there taught me many lessons of space and just how far the rules of conceptual art bend. I searched through the huge museum and found my muse. This art was engaging and beyond.
KEMANG WA LEHULERE is a South African artist that uses his art to convey a deep yet clear inequality in his home. The work echoes the struggle the black people endured under Apartheid. This racial segregation did not allow the South Africans access to basic human rights such as education. One can see the school desks and other sculptural objects arranged in a certain manner to showcase this inequality. This message reaches to the very core of these issues around the globe.
Apartheid reared it's ugly head and under the Group Areas Act of 1950, many South Africans were pushed into exile because of their opposition to it's policies. These objects reflect those realities. In addition, the student uprisings of the 1970s and the first democratic election in 1994 are all themes that interplay within the conceptual installation. The title is explained by Wa Lehulere as,
"To cut oneself to liberate that which hurts is a poetic act towards generosity and a desire for freedom. "
This intellectual yet emotional piece is a testament to this statement. Wa Lehulere evokes a sense of mystery while taking on a sociopolitical stance. The space in the room also adds to the impact of this piece. I was reminded of one my favorite artists that Art Collector World Magazine had written extensively about years ago. These pieces are not at all like Junk Dada artist Noah Purifoy but rather Wa Lehulere's arrangement and use of space could be seen as an extension.
He is essentially a historian that pieces together fragments of the black people in South Africa. Their subjugation by the white people comes seeping through the installation. It is a cry for freedom just like the bird house that takes center stage. Old car tires and porcelain dogs also connect this history to the narrative that Wa LeHulere displays so eloquently. He spoke to me as though he was in the room with me. A conversation between two friends that leaves an indelible mark on my consciousness and anything I write in the future.
BY ARTCOWO PRESS TEAM 2019
SOURCE: ARTIST, TATE MODERN
ARTCOWO © PRESS VVIPURR MEDIA GROUP ©
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