From 28 August to 6 October 2019, ?Hayward Gallery’s HENI Project Space? presents ?Here Is Elsewhere?, a free exhibition bringing together around 50 works by the late South African photographer ?Thabiso Sekgala. ?Here Is Elsewhere? is the artist’s first solo exhibition in the UK.
Central to this exhibition is the artist’s career-defining series ?Homeland ?(2009–2011), which consists of images taken in the former homelands of Bophuthatswana and KwaNdebele,territories established by the apartheid government to house black South Africans forced to leave urban areas.
This important early series explores the notion of home, place and belonging, and touches on both the artist’s personal history and the political history of South Africa (Sekgala was born in the township of Soweto but grew up in KwaNdebele).
Along with striking portraits of young people living in these areas – the ‘born-free generation’ who grew up after the first democratic elections in 1994 – the series features elegiac photographs of landscapes, buildings and everyday objects. Through these indirect, subtleand nuanced photographs, Sekgala illustrates the lasting geopolitical effect of apartheid.
Sekgala first exhibited? Homeland ?in 2011 at Johannesburg’s influential Market Photo Workshop, where he was a student between 2007 and 2008. In 2012, ?Homeland? featured in Okwui Enwezor’s touring exhibition ?Rise and Fall of Apartheid: Photography and the Bureaucracy of Everyday Life, ?which opened at the International Center of Photography(New York) and toured to Haus der Kunst (Munich) and Museum Africa (Johannesburg).
Running through all of Sekgala’s work is a fascination with the idea of home, and the personal, political or economic conditions that determine our relationship to it
I am inspired by looking at human experience whether lived orimagined. Images capture our history, who we are, our presence and absence. My work isinfluenced by growing up in both rural and urban South Africa. The dualities of these bothenvironments inform the stories I am telling through my photographs, by engaging issuesaround land, peoples’ movement, identity and the notion of home. My focus is on landscapeand portraiture, looking on how young people relate to their landscape and also finding theirown identities. My work is the culmination of the exploration of memory, place andinterrelated self-imaginingThabiso Sekgala (2013)
Here Is Elsewhere brings together images from Homeland with photographs from Sekgala’slater projects, including Domestic (2012), an intimate meditation on everyday life, and Second Transition (2014), a series that addresses South Africa’s vast economic inequality through photographs of the platinum-producing mining town of Rustenburg.
The exhibition also includes images from the quietly arresting series ?Running Bulawayo,Running Amman and Paradise (all 2013) – taken during periods spent in Bulawayo, Amman and Berlin, respectively which speak to the experiences of displacement, migration and the pursuit of unattainable ideals.
The title of the exhibition, ?Here Is Elsewhere?, draws on Sekgala’s own writing about his work, and speaks of his ability to create images that are at once intimate and elusive, and that capture a specific time and place while remaining decidedly universal.
Thabiso Sekgala (b. 1981, Johannesburg, South Africa; d. 2014, Johannesburg, South Africa) held solo exhibitions in South Africa and Europe and has exhibited in group shows internationally, including Lagos Photo Festival (2015), Bamako Biennale (2015) and Les Rencontres D’Arles (2013). In 2013, he was an artist in residence at both the KunstlerhausBethanien, Berlin, and at HIWAR/Durant Al Funun, Jordan. He studied at Johannesburg’s Market Photo Workshop in 2007 to 2008 and was awarded the Tierney Fellowship in 2010
Violet Nights x Brainchild: Reimagining Grief
Thursday 29 August, Blue Room, Royal Festival Hall, 7pm, Free, but ticketed
Break the taboo around death, reframe grief and unearth new rituals at an evening of discussion and performance with Brainchild at a forum for people aged 18 – 30.
Speakers include film-maker Zoe Hunter Gordon, writer Cecilia Knapp and Hayward Gallery Curator Tarini Malik. This Violet Nights event is in response to Hayward Gallery’s free Thabiso Sekgala exhibition ?Here Is Elsewhere? at HENI Project Space.
Hayward Gallery opening times
11am – 7pm every day except Tuesdays when the gallery is closed.
Late night opening on Thursdays until 9pm
Tickets and further information:
Tickets on sale (Southbank Centre Members free)
www.southbankcentre.co.uk / 020 3879 9555
Disclaimer: WISE16 cannot be held responsible for any event changes or cancellation. We strongly recommend to check with the organiser if you have any questions, especially for those events which require paying a fee.