Officine dell’Immagine gallery in Milan will host the group show Cut Away, curated by Silvia Cirelli, an exhibition entirely dedicated to the overview of three emblematic female figures of the current African scene. Moroccan Safaa Erruas ('76) and the two young South Africans Lungiswa Gqunta ('90) and Bronwyn Katz ('93) are the interpreters of this vibrant scenario and will present various unpublished works, some of them made especially for the exhibition.
The three protagonists of the show are internationally well-known and stand out for a mature and incisive aesthetic refinement, particularly representative of the versatile and lively African scene. Safaa Erruas was among the artists invited to the 12th Biennial of Havana and has recently exhibited at the prestigious Sharjah Art Foundation; Lungiswa Gqunta has participated in both Manifesta 12 and the Istanbul Biennial in the last year; while Bronwyn Katz recently had a solo exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo, part of the SAM Art Projects residency.
Far from easy cultural and geographical rhetoric, Cut Away offers numerous points of reflection on the various current aesthetic realities and enhances the multidisciplinary aspect of an artistic scene that is characterised by an extremely flourishing creative ferment. The different languages explored - ranging from drawing to video and even installations - are particularly indicative of a stylistic grammar that, despite the respective differences, moves towards awareness of the deceptive nature of things. The frail boundaries between perception-conception and the suggestion of apparently seductive intimate spaces that are then revealed as sharp unconfessed truths are in fact lexical rhythms that meet in the poetics of the three artists.
The works that the Moroccan Safaa Erruas presents in Milan constantly entangle suggestion and danger, emphasising a collision between opposites that first seduce and then threaten. Blades, glasses, needles and iron wires go beyond the perceptive constraint, where beauty is combined with suffering and sensuality accompanies pain. Behind the illusion of delicate and innocent installations, a sharp duplicity is in fact hidden, which first enchants and then, unfailingly, betrays the viewer.
The young South African Lungiswa Gqunta instead focuses her aesthetic research on real multi-sensorial experiences that tend towards witnessing a fragmentary and "broken" identity, deeply marked by the effects of colonialism. The resulting social imbalances still lurk in South African everyday life and create the aesthetic vocabulary of Gqunta, a vocabulary where domestic and family objects become weapons ready to cause injury.
Finally, Bronwyn Katz focuses on the urgent desire to be the guardian of a historical and cultural memory where the importance of the earth, as a depositary of the past, becomes necessary. Her poetics are therefore the emblem of an emotional repertoire that sees concepts such as memory and oblivion or construction and destruction as important pieces of a deeply immersive narrative construction.
Safaa Erruas was born in Tétouan (Morocco) in 1976, where she currently lives and works. She graduated from the Institut National des Beaux-Arts in Tétouan. She has had numerous exhibitions in important international museums, such as Casula Powerhouse Art Centre, Liverpool (Australia), the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, the Sharjah Arts Foundation, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Castilla y León, the Muhka Museum in Antwerp, Musac de Leon, CAAM of Palma de Canarias, the Kunstforening in Oslo, the Musée de Marrakech, the MoCADA Museum in New York, the Arab World Institute in Paris, the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, Musée départemental de Rochechouart; as well as participating in festivals and biennials, such as the recent Havana Biennial (2015), the Alexandria Biennial (2010) and the Dak’Art Biennial in Senegal (2006 and 2002).
Lungiswa Gqunta was born in Port Elizabeth (South Africa) in 1990 and currently lives and works in Cape Town (South Africa). She graduated in 2012 from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and in 2017 she completed her specialisation at the Fine Art University of Cape Town. This year alone, she took part in both Manifesta 12 and the prestigious Istanbul Biennial. Recent personal exhibitions include: Poolside Conversations, Kelder Projects (London); Stranger's Location, Michaelis Galleries (Cape Town); and Qwitha, WHATIFTHEWORLD Gallery (Cape Town); while among the collectives it is right to remember All Things Being Equal, at the Zeitz MOCCA Museum in Cape Town; Everyday Anomaly, WHATIFTHEWORLD Gallery, also in Cape Town; and Young Now, at the Hazard Gallery in Istanbul.
Bronwyn Katz was born in Kimberley (South Africa) in 1993 and currently lives and works between Cape Town and Johannesburg (South Africa). In 2015 she graduated from the Michaelis School of Fine Art in Cape Town. Despite her young age, she was one of the protagonists of the 2016 Dak'Art Biennale, and her solo show "A Silent Line, Lives Here", part of the SAM Art Projects residence in Paris, has just ended at the Palais Tokyo. In 2017, she participated in the group exhibition "Le jour qui vient" at the Galerie des Galeries in Paris, while in 2018 she was in the "Tell Freedom" project at the Kunsthal Kade in Amersfoort, the Netherlands. In 2015, she also won the Simon Gershwin Prize at the University of Cape Town, and the Merit Prize at the Sasol New Signatures Competition in Pretoria.