Francois Knoetze (South Africa) – August/September – The Africa Centre
Francois, “I grew up in the small town of Grahamstown, South Africa. As a child I learned to value seemingly useless objects from watching my grandfather repairing broken appliances, toys and furniture….”
Francois is a Cape Town-based artist working between visual and performing arts across a wide range of mediums including an amalgamation of assemblage sculpture, video montage and public performance processes. His practice is concerned with finding ways of creatively repurposing and representing garbage through a broader systems lens. He use reclaimed waste material as an artistic medium through which to explore the dirty underbelly of the sanitised sphere of consumption; a process that is motivated by the belief that through artistic intervention, used objects are able to become storytellers of the worlds they inhabit, as if imbued with the characteristics of the people and places they have come into contact with. His work is not so much ecologically-focussed as it is an attempt to engage with the social, political and economic counter-narratives to which trash is inextricably bound.
His performances make use of Mongo1 suits (sculptural masks and costumes made out of discarded objects) within public spaces and seek to interrupt the mundane everyday with playful moments of improvised interaction. Dressing up in waste also aids me in grappling with concerns regarding the body as a space objectified by consumer culture.
He says, “As I put on the sculptural waste suits, my shadow becomes the shadows of the characters I portray, and the suits form a tangible layer which constricts my movement and makes it difficult to interact conventionally with people sharing the spaces with me. At the same time; however, the performances allow for a certain freedom of interaction and play. In this sense, masking simultaneously creates a distance, in terms of a one-on-one interaction, and proximity, as participants in the performances tend to drop their guard and interact with less restraint and inhibitions.”
The Great Circle Exhibition at Nafsi Art Space on 29th September 2016
The great Circle
The Great Circle video link; https://vimeo.com/191619155
The Great Circle Exhibition on 29th September 2016