STEVENSON is pleased to announce the first solo exhibition in South Africa by American artist Frohawk Two Feathers.
Through wildly imaginative and detailed drawings, Frohawk Two Feathers reimagines colonial history, using the fictional Empire of Frengland as the driving force in his global narrative. For The Edge of the Earth Isn't Far from Here, he has unearthed events in a Cape Colony of 1792, where a lone Frenglish garrison - unaware of recent shifts in power 'back home' - finds itself threatened by a Batavian invasion:
Meanwhile back at the Cape Colony, all was business as usual. The lowborn military governor of the colony, Captain Didier Lamontagne, was biding his time there hoping for someone to come and relieve him so that he could 'go to the front' where he felt his administrative acumen and tactical genius would be better served. He was by no means hostile to the natives and was quite diplomatic with the neighbouring pastoral Khoi and the various Xhosa tribes to the east. He conducted trade with the Zulu and was even kind to the Boers who had lived in the colony before Frenglish occupation. However seemingly kind, he also dealt in slaves and turned a blind eye to 'less sympathetic' settlers who sought to exploit the land and its people for personal gain. This aspect of Didier was well noticed by the commander of his native auxillary corps, Daluxolo, or 'King Gorgeous' as he was affectionately referred to. Daluxolo was a member of the Mfengu tribe who wished to learn Frenglish military drill and tactics so that he could protect his tribe from rogue settlers, other Xhosa, and the encroaching Zulus from the north. His unit, the Force Fantastique, was ridiculed by the white soldiers of the Frenglish, but he continued to train and led his men well in battle.
One day in November, a slave ship carrying fresh slaves from the Gold Coast told Didier that the Frenglish Empire had been dissolved and that they had just passed a great armada of 100 warships flying the Batavian standard and heading this way ...
Frohawk Two Feathers was born in Chicago in 1976. He received his BA at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 2000, and lives and works in Los Angeles. He has been developing the narrative of the Frenglish Empire since 2006, with exhibitions Last Night, After the Lights Went Out, We Fell , In the Court of the Crimson King and La Guerre de Machettes Danseuses (The War of the Dancing Machetes) Crocodile Company Part 1 at Taylor De Cordoba in Los Angeles, and The Wolf and Hawk War 1782-1790 for Morgan Lehman Gallery (New York) at Pulse, Miami. Recent group exhibitions include Stranger than Fiction at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA; Opening Ceremonyat Morgan Lehman Gallery, New York; and Else, curated by Derrick Adams, at Tilton Gallery, New York, all in 2010. In 2012, Two Feathers will have his first solo museum exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, Colorado. His work was previously shown at Stevenson Cape Town on the curated exhibition This is Our Time (2010).
The exhibition opens on Tuesday 25 October, from 6 to 8pm.