November 19, 2016 – January 14, 2017
Friday, November 18, 6–8pm
Art in General
Ground Floor Gallery
145 Plymouth Street (Map)
Dumbo, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Hours: Tue-Sat 12-6pm
ARTNEWS. Soil, Dust, Life: Dineo Seshee Bopape on Her Earthy, Searching Art. Brown, Angela (13 Jan 2017)
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HYPERALLERGIC. An Artist’s Plots of Earth Decay to Dust. Rodney, Seph (3 Jan 2017).
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ART IN AMERICA. Exhibitions: The LOOK OUT. Droitcour, Brian (22 Dec 2016).
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BLOUIN ARTINFO. Slideshow: Dineo Seshee Bopape at Art in General (14 Jan 2017).
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E-FLUX. Announcement. Dineo Seshee Bopape: sa ____ ke lerole, (sa lerole ke ___) (12 Dec 2016).
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Dineo Seshee Bopape is known for a practice that combines a digital and analog aesthetic, as well as natural and synthetic elements such as plants, wood, mirrors, and video monitors. In sa ____ ke lerole, (sa lerole ke ___) which is partly inspired by her recent project for the 32nd Bienal de São Paulo, Bopape explores the complex sets of relationships and tensions that arise when considering land from the varied perspectives of gender and maternity, history and the politics of place, memory and the metaphysics of self and presence.
In this new work, uterus forms, soil, clay, charcoal, flowers, herbs, crystals and ash alongside projected images of her hands holding or squeezing lumps of clay, bring forth a range of associations, from the extraction from the earth of minerals and other substances, to the larger topic of the Anthropocene, to what the land signifies beyond its sheer materiality. The idea of sovereignty resonates through references to the self, (female) body and land, and the subject of land ownership, occupation, absence and reclamation.
Bopape sees the land as both a container of memories and histories, and a host for life and death. Her recent work questions what memories are embedded in the land, what ‘presences’ it holds, and how these might be communicated or sensed. In this commission, she experiments further with these ideas, using the soil as a conduit for sound to ‘soothe’ the soil/compressed dust.
Holes in the soil act both as voids—that disrupt surface, continuity, and memory—and as containers. In sa ____ ke lerole, (sa lerole ke ___), there are also formal references to the games Morabaraba and Diketo that make use of rocks and holes, with rocks shifting in and out of holes, depressions and pits. In this respect, Bopape’s working process is not linear, but rather oscillates across a spectrum of concerns. “What is remembered and what is forgotten? What matters and what does not? What is visible and what is invisible?” These concerns are consistent with her approach to matter itself: Bopape describes the clay she works with as something that can be formed into an object, but that can also disintegrate back to dust and a kind of nothingness, echoing the SePedi title which can be translated literally as that which is of ___is dust, (that which is of dust is____).
This Art in General New Commission is Bopape’s first solo exhibition in the United States.
Dineo Seshee Bopape, born in 1981, in Polokwane, lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her work has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2016), Hayward Gallery, London (2015); Hordaland Kunstsenter, Bergen, Norway (2015); August House, Johannesburg (2014); Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town (2013, 2011); Mart House Gallery, Amsterdam (2010); and Art Berlin Contemporary, Berlin (2010). Her work has also been included in group exhibitions at the Marrakech Biennale 6, Marrakech (2016); Bienial de São Paulo, São Paulo (2016); Tate Modern, London (2015); Center for Visual Art, Denver, CO (2015); Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (2015); The Jewish Museum, New York (2015); Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (2014); Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam (2014); Biennale de Lyon, Lyon, France (2013); and Bétonsalon—Centre d’art et de recherche, Paris (2012). seshee.blogspot.com
PAVE Communications & Consulting
Sascha Freudenheim and Alina Sumajin
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Art in General was founded in 1981 and supports the production of new work by local and international artists primarily through its New Commissions Program and its International Collaborations program. Art in General also produces an annual symposium What Now? on critical and timely issues in artistic and curatorial practice.
General Support of Art in General is provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services; the New York State Council on the Arts with support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; the Toby D. Lewis Donor Advised Fund of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland; and by individuals. This program is also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
The New Commissions Program is made possible by the Trust for Mutual Understanding; National Endowment for the Arts; Jerome Foundation; Ruth Ivor Foundation; The Greenwich Collection; and the Milton and Sally Avery Foundation. Support has also been provided by: Commissioners’ Circle leaders Elaine Goldman, Jeffery Larsen and Joseph Bolduc; Commissioners’ Circle supporters Richard Massey, and David Solo; and Commissioners’ Circle members Nader Ansary, Rob Colangelo, Don Erenberg, Taymour Grahne, Roya Khadjavi-Heidari, Mary Lapides, Leslie Ruff, Steve Shane, and Diana Wege.
The New Commissions program provides in-depth support for eight to ten artists each year, for the creation of major new works, including the financial, logistical, promotional, and presentation assistance necessary to bring these works to new audiences world-wide.
The What Now? Symposium, and accompanying book series from 2015-2017, is generously supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (MA-10-14-0304-14).