6 th April – 31 st May 2022
Text by Karabo Manaleng

The NWU Gallery is thrilled to present an exhibition curated by Oupa Sibeko.
QUALITY/INEQUALITY invites celebratory imaginations which seek an artistic expression and response to counter singular utopic colonial visions and socio-cultural sameness. How might artistic imaginaries stage the potential of multiple futures, thus rendering uncertain the confidence of the colonial past and the multinational present?

Oupa Sibeko

The exhibition ponders future blends of human, nature, and material just as they might reflect on fluid temporal movements between past, present, and future. “Basically, to create from within, to honour ourselves and the ones who have allowed our path towards equality and quality to manifest.” – Oupa Sibeko.
“The inspiration behind the project is to teach adults how to play" Sibeko states, he uses his art to convey the value of just existing or as he simply put it “just being". He encourages adults to explore their playful nature a bit more and get more comfortable with expressing themselves outside the limitations of perfection. Most of the body of works was produced during National Lockdown which Sibeko used to create and reminisce on the past. He explains that sewing was an important part of creating the works as it reminded him of his grandmother. “We are scared of pausing”, Sibeko emphasizes the importance of being more accepting of reality, whatever comes our way we need to accept it as it is and this is the essence of this project.

This exhibition is in conjunction with NWU Facing Race Week 2022 which takes place across all three NWU campuses with exhibition installation and performance by Oupa Sibeko. NWU Face Race Week is focused on overcoming the legacies of racism and white supremacy globally, and in South Africa in particular, remains crucial as an intellectual and social engagement at the NWU in its pursuit of being a leading university known for an ethic of care.

Artist Bio
Oupa Sibeko is an interdisciplinary artist whose work moves between theatrical, gallery, scholarly and other public contexts, overtly dealing with matter and politics of the body as a site of contested works. Enabling opportunities for affective and relational encounters using ritualistic performance and play, he seeks to critically engage approaches to the body, particularly the black male body, the history of representation and the ways in which certain subjectivities have been (and are) figured, (black) pain, (black) spectacle, (black) negation, and the ethical implications of reimaging and re-enacting pain.

Broken Quality, Variable, Paper & Colour


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