Excerpts from the past are reincarnated in this striking visual and performance-based installation, which considers current conversations of land in relation to the colonial quest of Africa. Intimate and unsettling, Sethembile Msezane’s embodiment of Nolwazi, a time traveller, hypnotically moves amongst the antique furniture and decaying structures of a domestic colonial landscape, invoking ancestral memory and unearthing associations of belonging, dislocation and displacement.
Based in Cape Town, South Africa, Msezane is a self-described KwaZulu-Natal, ’90s-born millennial, whose work interrogates issues of identity shaped by her background in the ‘New South Africa’. She uses a racial, cultural and gendered lens to subvert colonialist ideologies and injustices wrought through selective history, and to address the absence of the black female body in the public and private domains.
Disruptive and subversive, Excerpts from the Past is remembrance as resistance, and Msezane’s powerfully eloquent love letter to those who have been dispossessed of their history.
Conceived and produced by:
Supported by – Excerpts from the Past was originally commissioned by Iziko South African National Gallery and the Friends of the South African National Gallery. It was conceived and produced by Sethembile Msezane. It has subsequently been performed at the Institute for Creative Arts (ICA) Live Art Festival in South Africa.
Image by – Lerato Maduna & Thandiwe Msebenzi