Liberation (Un)Masked (Nov. 25, 2014)

Opening Reception: 25th November 8am-8pm (cocktails 6pm-8pm)

Curator’s Statement

Liberation (Un)Masked; a ‘post-colonial’ enquiry into the dichotomy between the utopian ideals of liberation and the realities presented by the waking world, as reflected by sculptor Neill Wright and mixed media artist Turay mederic, visually deconstructing the narratives of the past and complex actualities of the present.

The notion of liberation; the attainment of a state of freedom from constructed constraints, is a mask that bears falsity in the physicalized sphere of the African continent. The continent is a milieu of epochs of cyclic occurrences of conflict and unrest, and responsive efforts of rehabilitation and reconciliation. However the state of emancipation of African countries does not connote the emancipation of the individual within their lived experience. The socio-economic and political challenges of existence remain embedded, wounds bandaged in the wooing word liberation, under which festers ubiquitous inequalities, advancing the privileged minority and continually marginalizing the masses.

The notion of liberation has become a symbol of power and autonomy for states, however this façade constructed through expectant yet largely unrealized and corrupted promises, has dulled individuals into a state of complacency, countering and further regressing embryonic progression ignited by liberalist movements and individuals.

Through the use of suggestive dichotomies, Wright and mederic’s works simultaneously induce opposing emotional responses. Wrights sculptural compositions are a sophisticated rendition of Legoman, and mederic’s bold and brightly hued forms evoke a child-like spirit. The seemingly playful aesthetic momentarily disguises the gravitas of their works provocative examination of society. mederic and Wright interrogate the means utilized to realize liberation, and the residual scars that taint this ideal. The artists’ compositions signify the duality of society, revealing the face of dystopia.

Liberation (Un)Masked aims to visually unveil that which is often ‘seen’ through eyes wide shut in the authentic spirit of place of society, that which has been concealed behind tableaux’s of the idyllic. It will serve as a catalyst for societal conscientization; a reawakening to liberation as a continuous journey of agency, rather than a static conception.

Kefiloe Siwisa (curator)