The silences between
Goodman Gallery Cape Town
24 August – 29 September 2017
Curator: Emma Laurence
Candice Breitz • Broomberg & Chanarin • Nolan Oswald Dennis • mounir fatmi • Kendell Geers • David Goldblatt • Haroon Gunn-Salie • Alfredo Jaar • Samson Kambalu • William Kentridge • Grada Kilomba • Paulo Nazareth • Mikhael Subotzky
The silences between brings together major works by a selection of pre-eminent contemporary artists who use varying modes of storytelling to rethink, rework and reimagine the world and our place within it.
The title is taken from the Maori poetry book, The Silences Between: (Moeraki conversations) in which writer Keri Hulme prompts the question: ‘What is recorded in the writing of history and what is left out?’
The exhibition considers the role of the artist in questioning how meaning is made and what is recorded in visual memory. Works by artists such as Paulo Nazareth (Brazil), William Kentridge (South Africa), Candice Breitz (South Africa/Germany), Nolan Oswald Dennis (Zambia/South Africa), Grada Kilomba (Portugal/Germany) and Samson Kambalu (Malawi/UK) confront this process and offer alternatives to the ‘grand narrative’ of Western thought.
This exhibition takes its cue from Donna Haraway’s influential book Staying With The Trouble (2016), in which the prominent academic argues that the world cannot be understood ‘as the heroic story, told yet one more time, of the privileged signifier moving across time and space to bring back the prize at the end and die’.
The silences between presents works that expose the layered scaffolding of ‘meaning-making’ through the telling of everyday stories of ordinary people and seemingly insignificant events that have been left out of the dominant narrative.
‘The show seeks to activate the small but crucial stories that are so often forgotten, and in so doing offer new ways of crafting sensibilities,’ says curator Emma Laurence. ‘Through interfering with systems of knowledge production and archiving, the works puncture the overarching narratives of our globalised world.’