Venice Biennale: View from the ground

Mail & Guardian | Jeremy Kuper:


The works of SA Pavilion’s artists Mntambo, Lewis and Gunn-Salie bring the country’s past and present issues into sharp focus at Venice Biennale.

The South African Pavilion in Venice presents a mix of old and new works. 

Photographs from Mark Lewis’s ‘Wake Up, This is Joburg’ series with writer Tanya Zack is part of the South African Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale. 

There’s a video of Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings and documentary footage from the Apartheid Museum – such as the sound recording of Nelson Mandela’s Rivonia trial speech, played over and over in a little booth – reminding us that the past is never far away.

But for me, the standout works all examined new themes and ways of looking at the country. Haroon Gunn-Salie’s new sculpture, Soft Vengeance, displays a cast of Jan van Riebeeck’s arms taken from his statue in Cape Town…


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