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NEXT MOVEMENT (article first published : 2005-04-11)

Currently running in the NSA Gallery’s Main and Mezzanine space is the second solo exhibition by renowned Durban video artist, Thando Mama, with an overview of recent work and a new series of digital prints.

Thando Mama has gained stature as an important young South African artist and has been travelling and showing in numerous international exhibitions in the past two years. He was included in group exhibitions in Belgium, the USA, New Zealand, Switzerland and France. He was the recipient of the MTN New Contemporaries Award in 2003 and the Prix de la Communaute de Belgique at the Dakar Biennale in 2004.

Thando Mama’s practice as a video artist is framed by his awareness that his chosen medium is largely marginalised within the South African art market and gallery system. He champions the use of video as legitimate and important aspect of contemporary South African art and opening avenues for its distribution locally is a concern for the artist.

His work grapples with the uneasy representation of the African male and how its depiction is often fraught with ideological ambiguity. He draws from pan African writings, popular print and television media, digital developments and his own experience as influences. Often his own body is used as a starting point and reference in his work, and he shares an interest with artists who use their own experience and bodies as a canvas on which larger social political issues plays itself out.

“My body forms part of or is a reference to issues arising from socio-political discourses in the contemporary African society and its Diaspora,” says Thando Mama. “Thus my face, my voice, my skin texture, the audio levels of the video, the installations become a tool and space for the audience to engage in, to identify with and hopefully give and take meaning to my work.”

The exhibition runs until April 17. More Information from NSA curator Storm Janse van Rensburg on 031 202 3686, fax 031 201 8051, or e-mail: curator@nsagallery.co.za

The exhibition is funded through a grant from the National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF) and the National Arts Council (NAC)




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