Belly of the Boat

Particles by Gerhard Marx
55″x71″; reconfigured map fragments on canvas; 2020. Courtesy of the artist.


Belly of the Boat

at Goodman Gallery in Cape Town, South Africa
25 March-30 May 2021

Goodman Gallery is participating Galleries Curate: RHE, the first chapter of a collaborative exhibition and online platform that brings together twenty one galleries from across the globe. Water, a universal and unifying subject matter, is the basis and starting point for each of the participating galleries’ exhibitions.

“Belly of the Boat”, Goodman Gallery’s contribution to RHE, takes the form of a group exhibition of artists working across a range of media including collage, land-based intervention and sensory installation. The coastline, seen here as both a physical and symbolic framework, forms the vantage point and undertow of the exhibition. As the intersection between land and sea, the coastline represents both a territoriality, and a boundlessness. Inscribed with stories that bear histories of occupation and freedom, coasts are loaded with cultural significance. As a counterpoint, they also appear to be infinite, extending beyond the horizon.

Among the artists on view is collagist Gerhard Marx and assemblage artist Kiluanji Kia Henda

Particles, continues Gerhard Marx’s engagement with discarded and decommissioned Cartographic Archives, with an interest in landscape as social construction; how space is constructed and how in turn, it constructs us. Through physical acts of fragmentation, rupture, migration, agglomeration and collage, Marx aims to disrupt the boundaries and hegemonic claims inherent to these cartographies in a manner that allows for a consideration of new spatial imaginaries.

Mare Nostrum (Black Birds)​ (detail) by Kiluanji Kia Henda
104″x158.7″; assemblage of 53 inkjet prints on fine art papers; Edition of 5; 2019/2020. Courtesy of the artist.

Kiluanji Kia Henda’s Mare Nostrum (Black Birds)​ is a composition of photographic images taken from the saltpans of Arles on the French Riviera in Provence. Historically the Mediterranean is a site of development for civilizations and solidarity between different populations, but also a space of death and disappearance. In this work, the crystalline transparency of the saltpans is contrasted by black shapes that interrupt the white salt and allude to the stories of those who try to cross the Mediterranean towards Europe. The title Mare Nostrum translates from Latin into “Our Sea’”and is the term used by Romans for the Mediterranean denoting it as a historic site of racial, commercial and military control; a state that has returned in recent years.

Other artists in the exhibtion are Alfredo Jaar, Jeremy Wafer, Sue Williamson, and Dor Guez.

(text adapted from the gallery’s press materials)


Goodman Gallery
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