Dineo Seshee Bopape: slow -co- ruption at Hayward Gallery Project Space
Dineo Seshee Bopape opens her first solo exhibition in the UK at the Hayward Gallery Project Space. With glass walls, the gallery is a bright, open area in which the South African artist has arranged her work. Fake, green grass covers the floor while a contrasting neon pink filtered light floods in. Bopape aims to address social and political perceptions with a focus on memory and representation in her installation and videos, altogether giving the collection an ambiguous title.
In the middle of the room is a large, complex structure constructed from wood, tangled wires, poles that jut out sporadically and mini monitors that are playing pixellated videos of wildlife. As the viewer walks the same angle, same lighting installation, it becomes apparent that there is much repetition in the structure such as duplications of an A4 print of flowers hanging randomly, the colours of which directly correlate with the surrounding environment. Furthermore, the viewer is distracted by a mix of flat screens and old bulky televisions that encircle the installation as they play Bopape’s film grass green, made of frenzied and jittery footage of grassy vegetation.
A curtain reveals the second room of the exhibition where the video why do you call me when you know i can’t answer the phone is projected onto the wall. There is continuous movement in the abstract video and repetition of shapes, objects and scenes. The crude cut-out style is similar to that of Terry Gilliam’s animations and it is just as obscure. A drug-induced stream-of-consciousness is conveyed through the constant emergence of a mixture of inanimate household objects and farm animals. While an African drumbeat provides the soundtrack, the kaleidoscope imagery dizzies and almost hypnotises the viewer. Bopape’s message of human experience, dysfunction of memory and the nature of language comes across here.
The final room of the exhibition is more intimate, with another video projected onto one of the walls. Bopape explains how the film is inspired by the trial of Julius Malema, leader of the African National Congress Youth League, who was banned from singing anti-apartheid songs in 2011. Bopape recognised this as a threat to the memory and history of certain events of the black struggle. This final video, is i am sky, contains even more fractals of shapes and colours, with faces and characters that are barely distinguishable amid the pattern.
Photos: Aleksandra Rozanska
Dineo Seshee Bopape: slow -co- ruption is at Hayward Gallery Project Space from 26th August until 27th September 2015, for further information visit here.