This catalogue is published on the occasion of Dada Khanyisa’s second exhibition with Stevenson, Good Feelings, in which Khanyisa fractures their narrative process, creating solipsistic scenes set against the backdrop of communal living. In this presentation in Khanyisa’s ‘solution-based practice’ – described as nakanjani (‘by whatever means’) – place is foregrounded in an unprecedented way and the multidimensionality of the artist’s paintings is broadened formally, conceptually and referentially.
The catalogue spans early and recent works, and features an essay by Sinazo Chiya, studio notes from an interview by Sisipho Ngodwana and Alexander Richards, and a conversation between Khanyisa and Julie Nxadi looking at process, historical ugliness and the occupation of space. From one exchange:
Nxadi: There’s a lot of things that are going on at the same time and I think siyathanda uku instructor [we love instructing] and sometimes we need to take a break from the instruction and just tell the story.
Khanyisa: Yeah, tell the story. It has to come out. It has to exist, it has to be there, it has to be in the world. I guess that’s the instructive element. But as far as having to carry the load of fixing the social wrongs or social ills ...? Because there’s also that thing that as Black cultural practitioners we can’t just focus on fynbos. And ‘they’ are like, okay, we get your fynbos obsession but the hood is burning.
Where is your bucket? The hood is burning, dawg.
We are here and we are doing it. So there is also a need to celebrate that. A need to celebrate the beautiful. Getting back from work and taking off your bra and just chilling – that decompression element – It’s a point of interest to me. I understand why people go out because I go out and it’s interesting the things that play out and what they say about the greater South Africa.
Published by Stevenson | Catalogue 93 | March 2020
Softcover, 104 pages | Price: R300