press release

Two Together

07.11.2019 - 25.10.2020

This exhibition inaugurates a dedicated space for the institution’s collection. Titled Two Together, the show is built around major themes explored by artists from Africa and its diaspora represented in the collection, and each gallery contains a pair: either two objects, or multiple works by two artists, or two major themes – either in dialogue, as counterpoints, or in sync. As couples do, in comedic duos or in romance, the exhibition embraces a rigorous engagement between objects and ideas. So, what happens when two come together? Two photographers can subvert a gaze, while probing issues around representation, presence, omission, authorship and voyeurism. Speaking from contrasting geo-political vantage points, two can highlight the perpetual and impeding undertone of violence manifested in a present-day psyche. The numerous lines between collective memory, imagination and folklore are blurred when two artists use material to venerate and to make visible intangible heritage.

When two come together, there can be a conversation around absence and nostalgia expressed by cutting; tearing images from archives or ripping apart strips of cloth, both done to express loss.

Referencing the history of slave trades across the Atlantic or the Indian Ocean, two can use portraiture as a medium to re-imagine routes journeyed by ancestors. Two together can amplify resistance. Using satire and sophistication, they can resist the imposed taxonomy of time, place, gender and history.

Leonce Raphael Agbodjelou , Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Joel Andrianomearisoa, Lungiswa Gqunta, Nicholas Hlobo, Taiye Idahor, Isaac Julien, Mouna Karray, Glenn Ligon, Misheck Masamvu, Zanele Muholi , Sethembile Msezane , Athi Patra Ruga