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SA visual artist Mary Sibande in Reunion Island, France

31 October 2014 – 1 March 2015 
Musée Léon Dierx, Saint-Denis

A-reversed-retrogress-scen Terrible-beauty-2013 They-dont-make-them-like-t

The South African artist, Mary Sibande, whose works have been shown around the world, stops in Saint Denis, Reunion Island, France, for an artistic residency.

Her works will be exhibited at the Musée Léon Dierx from 31 October 2014 to 1 March 2015, including ‘A reversed retrogress, scene 1’ (2013), an installation of two life-size mannequins as part of her exhibition ‘The purple shall govern’, as well as photographs.

Reunion Island already got a taste for Mary Sibande’s works, which were exhibited as part of the Exposition Océanique, a showcase of the artistic collection of FRAC (Fonds régionaux d'art contemporain / Regional Funds of Contemporary Art), from 16 April to 14 June 2014.

Photographs exhibited in Musée Léon Dierx are 'They don't make them like they used to', 'Caught in the rapture', 'The wait seems to go on forever', 'I have not, I have', 'Silent symphony', 'Terrible Beauty', 'Admiration of the purple figure'.

Mary Sibande has been invited to Reunion Island by FRAC Réunion, the Musée Léon Dierx and the French Institute of South Africa.

More about Mary Sibande

Mary-Sibande--Adam-McConnachie 2012
Mary Sibande, born in 1982, lives and works in Johannesburg. She obtained a Diploma in Fine Arts at the Witwatersrand Technikon in 2004 and a B-Tech degree from the University of Johannesburg in 2007. Sibande has taken part in a number of group shows and workshops.

In Sibande’s practice as an artist, she employs the human form as a vehicle through painting and sculpture, to explore the construction of identity in a postcolonial South African context, but also attempt to critique stereotypical depictions of women, particularly black women in our society.

The body, for Sibande, and particularly the skin, and clothing is the site where history is contested and where fantasies play out. Centrally, she looks at the generational disempowerment of black woman and in this sense her work is informed by postcolonial theory. In her work, the domestic setting acts as a stage where historical psycho-dramas play out.

Sibande' work also highlights how privileged ideals of beauty and femininity aspired to by black woman discipline their body through rituals of imitation and reproduction. She inverts the social power indexed by Victorian costumes by reconfiguring it as a domestic worker’s “uniform” complexifying the colonial relationship between “slave” and “master” in a post-apartheid context. The fabric used to produce uniforms for domestic workers is an instantly recognizable sight in domestic spaces in South Africa and by applying it to Victorian dress she attempts to make a comment about history of servitude as it relates to the present in terms of domestic relationships.

More information on www.gallerymomo.com/artists/mary-sibande/biography 

Top photos from left to right
: A reversed retrogress, scene 1, 2013. Installation of 2 life-size Mannequins. 1.8 (h) x 1.2 x 1.2 (figures), 4m diameter x 15 cm (h), Terrible beauty, 2013. Digital pigment print (edition of 10), 1118 mm x 1130 mm, They don’t make them like they used to, 2008. Digital print, 62 x 60 cm (edition of 10).

Mary Sibande photo © Adam McConnachie, 2012

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