This catalogue accompanies PHAMBI KWENDLOVU, Paulo Nazareth’s first solo exhibition with Stevenson and on the continent. At the time of the opening he remarked, ’Nothing is ever the same, but nothing is ever gone.’ Where the exhibition reimagines time as a spiral, found materials and migration processes serve as discursive tools for further investigation into the complex relationship between Africa, Asia, and America.
Make for Where the August Hams Grow, the featured text by Sisipho Ngodwana, provides insight into historical context deeply enmeshed into the artist's personal and conceptual narrative. A series of pamphlets written in both English and Portuguese follow a rich catalogue chronicling his early and most recent works. Ngodwana writes of Nazareth’s methodology:
If we had to read Nazareth’s practice in a linear narrative, with the information and the language we have available to us now, we would say that his work began somewhere in North or Northeastern Africa, with the migration of Luzia and the Borum people. We might even say that after they emigrated from Asia to Madagascar they settled from some time in Australia; this has been contested, but that doesn’t mean it is not true. Perhaps, yes, it is not true because none of us who are here now were there then. But we should believe just as well that none of us would be here if it weren’t for them and global migration, so we were there then as much as they are here now. With the arrival of the Borum people in South America, Nazareth’s work took form and shape. It spoke the language of the people, and reflected all the faces of the earth. When he speaks of our predecessors, he is speaking of us, from somewhere in Africa, past the Mediterranean to Asia, possible to Madagascar, then to Australia, then to the Americas, and back again.
Published by Stevenson | Catalogue 97 | July 2021
Softcover, 172 pages | Price: R400