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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

HYBRID CULTURE – DURBAN (article first published : 2008-05-4)

Hybrid Culture – Durban is the title of an exhibition by Themba Shibase which is currently running in the DUT Art Gallery. This is a collection of paintings and drawings produced by Themba Shibase in the past four to five years. The exhibition showcases works produced in partial fulfillment towards his Master of Technology in Fine Art Degree.

The conceptual basis of the works is a broad interrogation of the notion of “Identity in Urban South Africa” looking, particularly, at Durban as the source of inspiration. In his work Shibase questions the notion of ‘authentic identity’ in this fast modernizing and or westernising world, evidence of which is best illustrated in the hybridised cultural experience of urban life.

The inspiration behind the work varies from Shibase’s conversations with people from different cultural backgrounds; mundane objects which form part of the greater visual experience of the city to his observations of similarities and differences in people’s urban cultural experience.

Another important aspect of Shibase’s work is his experimentation with the mediums he uses. As a black South African artist, there is a rich history or precedence of black painters who have contributed extensively in the field of painting. Their contribution is often viewed from a singular or collective perspective which stereotypes their works as that which concerns itself only with subject matter similar to that of Township Art. Shibase, therefore, experiments with pushing his visual vocabulary beyond such stereotypes whilst still not abandoning his admiration for painting.

Hybrid Culture – Durban runs until May 23 in the DUT Art Gallery which is situated on the 1st Floor Library Building, Steve Biko Campus, Berea, Durban.

More information on 031 373 2207 or e-mail artgallery@dut.ac.za or visit www.dut.ac.za




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