“The exhibition centers women’s agency and freedom to give meaning to the world, their prerogative to petition for that meaning to have status, and more importantly, how essential women’s contribution is to (re)imagining and (re)designing new and different futures and presents,” said Curator Buhle Ndhlovu.
She will on Tuesday 5 November, 19h00 open Ephemera – a performance art exhibition by Bupe Chiwala, Neige Moongo and Julia Hango (JuliART).
Two of the performances will be staged
and recorded during the opening, a unique aspect that Ndhlovu said enables viewers to continue encountering the ephemera.
“Owing to the fact that performance art is transitory, video recordings are employed to enable the artists to continue to represent their work after it is performed, and for the viewers to continue encountering the ephemera,” she said.
Ndhlovu explained the relevance of the topic to Namibia, saying, “The quality of women’s lives – including what opportunities they can pursue, the measure of autonomy they can exercise over their lives, their selves and bodies -is heavily
inflected by the socio-political and cultural landscape. The exhibition enables us to theorize this and imagine whether the status quo is subject to change, and if so – how?”
In particular, JuliArt’s performance provokes patriarchal hierarchies still prevalent in her Aawambo culture through explicit sexual and birth gestures.
“The highly provocative work calls attention to the continued gender inequalities in particularly
the Aawambo culture but also, within Namibia at large, by questioning the ‘double-patriarchal standards’ exerted by certain African cultural structures and colonial Christianity,” she said.
Inspiration for this exhibition comes from numerous works by other artists, locally and internationally, with one piece drawing from Serbian performance artist, Marina Abramović, who during the 1970s staged Rhythm 0 – a performance
that has the audience become more than a spectator and invites them to be a partner in the making of art.
“Thinking about ephemera allows us to interrogate our relationships to things – particularly things that do not stick around forever, and how these things may leave emotional, historical or physical traces,” said Chiwala – an emerging dancer.
“Ephemerality allows us to consider how important it is for us to let go of things and how things are constantly in a state of flux – simultaneously becoming and decaying,” said Moongo. Elaborating further, she explained how total loss and total
possession are fantasies, which highlights how temporary things can be meaningful.
“This speculation functions as a bridge and a practice which enables us to weigh and
deliberate alternatives for us to (re)imagine and (re)define our relationship to time, space, place, the present, the past, and the future, “said Moongo.
The exhibition at the Goethe-Institut Namibia on 1-5 Fidel Castro Street will be open to the public until 22 November 2019.