TWENTY JOURNEY: BORN FREES / LAND / IDIOSYNCRASIES
18 August – 3 September 2015
Sean Metelerkamp, Sipho Mpongo, Wikus de Wet
Curated by Khanyisile Mbongwa
Commune.1 is proud to present ‘Twenty’, an exhibition of 45 photographs taken by 3 photographers during 7 months as they travelled 24 000km across South Africa in a motorhome.
In 2014, South Africa entered its twenty years of Democracy, this moment coincided with the recent death of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the birth of Economic Freedom Front and the National Elections. In the advent of The Rainbow Nation, three photographers travelled 24000 kilometers over seven months throughout South Africa in a motorhome to feel the pulse of the country.
Sipho Mpongo, focused on the Born Frees, the first generation growing up out of apartheid rule. Asking: will they allow themselves to be defined by the scars of apartheid, or will they embrace freedom, choice and opportunity? Wikus de Wet, investigates the cultural, historical and commercial value of Land and the relationship it has to the people who inhabit the space. While Sean Metelerkamp, explores ‘Idiosyncrasies’ highlighting the absurdity of life in this magnificently puzzled country. He attempts to capture an unwilling moment, an unwarranted time and an unforgiving historical present.
This photographic exhibition is the result of the photographer’s search for the country’s pulse, the search for The New South Africa.
Cape Town based Khanyisile Mbongwa is an award winning performance and installation artist/curator, who uses movement, poetry and sculptural works in her practice. She has a strong passion for youth development, which has formed a focus in her career.
In 2006, she was amongst the founding members of a robust and innovative arts collective called Gugulective, focusing on performance-based practices around re-imagining the psychological and physical spaces of the township using photomontage, video and sound.
She exhibited and performed in and around Cape Town and Johannesburg, in Berlin, Spain, Pakistan, Scotland, Hamburg, New York, Switzerland and Sri Lanka. In 2014 she interned at GIPCA under the supervision of Jay Pather, curated the PreLIFE talks and assisted with the general running of Life Art Festival. Engaged in various curatorial and artistic projects, in 2014 she won the Africa Centre - Artist In Residency Laureate and took up residency at JIWAR in Spain in 2015. Continuing to create and curate, Mbongwa was the Special Guest at Liste Art Fair Basel 2015.
As part of Cape Town Art Week, Mbongwa curated a collaborative performance piece titled ‘My Body Is Not An Apology’ involved was Buhlebezwe Siwani and Thando Doni. In 2013, she curated ‘Demonstrations: Performing Being Black’ at Brundyn+ Gallery, a two part exhibition that focused on photography, installation pieces and performances in township public spaces. In 2012, together with the late Unathi Sigenu, she won the MTN New Contemporary Artist Award. In 2010 she had a solo experimental exhibition at Blank Project Space entitled ‘Ndizakuyivula Ibhayibile’.
Sean Metelerkamp (b.1984) is from Knysna, South Arica. His video for Die Antwoord – Zef Side was exhibited in the Guggenheim Museums in New York, Bilbao, Venice and Berlin where it won an award for Top 25 Videos of 2010. Zef Side also won the Yellow Pencil at the D&AD awards in London for Outstanding Achievement in 2011.
Residency Unlimited hosted Metelerkamp for six months in 2011 in New York where he focused on video and photography within the new landscape. Metelerkamp’s films and photographs have been shown at festivals and exhibitions in America, Europe, Africa, Australia and Britain.
Sipho Mpongo was born in the Eastern Cape in a rural village called Nqamakwe in 1993 and was raised in Langa, Cape Town. A local photographic mentorship programme, Illiso Labantu, provided Mpongo with a platform to launch his photographic career. Mpongo has recently completed a full time course in study at the Cape Town School of Photography whilst simultaneously contributing to various photographic group shows and projects in Cape Town and internationally. In April 2015 The Magnum Foundation selected Mpongo as one their 2015 Human Rights Fellows.
Wikus de Wet (b.1990) is a Cape Town based freelance photographer. He graduated with a BA Applied Design degree at Stellenbosch Academy of Design and Photography in 2011. In 2010 he was part of the Bonani Africa Documentary Photography group exhibition. During 2011 he was chosen to work on a HIV/AIDS awareness campaign in Tanzania where we used photography and high definition video. This project was in collaboration with Sony, World Photography Organization, AMREF, Global Fund, Large Blue and Stellenbosch Academy.
He was a participant at the Nikon NOOR Documentary Photography Masterclass that was held in Cape Town in March 2012. His project ‘Remaking Afrikaner Identity in a democratic South Africa’ was exhibited along with other photographers in the Good Hope Gallery as part of the Cape Town Month of Photography. In 2013 he started to work as a freelance photographer at Photo24, which provides pictures for Die Burger, Beeld, Volksblad and Rapport.