Hayward Gallery Project Space presents the first UK solo exhibition of work by South African artist Dineo Seshee Bopape. Best known for her playful, experimental video works and sculptural installations of found objects, Bopape is one of the most exciting artists emerging from the vibrant contemporary art scene in South Africa today. Her artwork mixes sound and image into kaleidoscopic videos, often incorporated into sculptural installations which combine everyday materials such as timber, bricks, mirrors, screens and plants to form loose yet complex configurations. This exhibition includes a selection of her video works alongside a newly expanded sculpture conceived for the Hayward Gallery Project Space.
Transforming the gallery space with her use of artificial grass and other materials, Bopape creates an immersive environment for her elusive narratives to unfold in. Each of the video works in slow -co- ruption uses the rough-hewn aesthetic of analogue video to create surreal digital montages accompanied by fractured soundtracks of music and sound effects. same angle, same lighting (2009/2013/2015) – an assemblage of objects that includes a spy camera and a cluster of screens and monitors – investigates the experience of looking and understanding with reference to interactions with landscape/surface and insidious surveillance. In why do you call me when you know I can't answer the phone (2012) Bopape explores the over-saturation of human experience, while is i am sky (2008), the title of which was inspired by Sun Ra’s poem The Endless Realm, contemplates the relationship between nothingness and self-presence. Also displayed across several monitors in the gallery is Bopape’s grass green (2008) – a disorientating, often out of focus, close-up of fields of grass that is both an interruption to and background for the exhibition’s diverse works.
In these careful but eclectic assemblages Bopape encourages a multitude of connections between materials and across time, and draws on her own experience to engage viewers with powerful socio-political and metaphysical notions of memory, narration and representation.
Dineo Seshee Bopape: slow -co- ruption is part of Southbank Centre’s Africa Utopia (11-13 September), the annual festival celebrating art and ideas from Africa that are changing the world. It is the last exhibition before the closure of Hayward Gallery for two years for essential repair and refurbishment.
The exhibition is curated by Cliff Lauson, Hayward Gallery Curator and Rahila Haque, Hayward Gallery Assistant Curator.
Supported by The African Arts Trust.