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The Year of Unity and Renewal: Protecting and Preserving our Human Rights Gains

Join Iziko Museums of South Africa in commemorating and celebrating Human Rights Day For media images and[…]


Matereality presents a survey of emerging and established artists in the 21st century who use particular media in deliberate, surprising and innovative ways. While focused primarily on South African art, it also highlights some examples from the rest of the continent.

A work of art can never be separated from its physical material and this inescapable truth has been subject to investigation for a long time. Contemporary artists are continuing this exploration in new, exciting and, often, urgent ways that lend insight into their reality, and, in turn, challenge traditional notions around what materials are suited to art-making.

In a time of mass production and consumption, mixed media artists are the ultimate recyclers, living in a world of endless art supplies and possibilities. The works in this exhibition will give a sense of some of the approaches explored. Some artists employ industrial materials and methods, while others adopt craft skills, or put throwaway consumer products to new uses. In other cases, artists use the more traditional materials in pioneering ways.

Matereality unpacks how artists have used materials, whether directly or indirectly, to raise questions about larger societal concerns. The exhibition depicts, among many realities, climate and environmental issues, consumerism, technology, globalisation, xenophobia, migration, religion, beauty, gender, sexuality, and politics. In an increasingly digitised world, honouring the materiality and physicality of a work is also a return to the tangible and real.

The imaginative use of materials reminds us that in a time of increasing ecological challenges and decreasing resources, it is even more important than ever for us to reimagine and re-contextualise the material world around us.

Featured artists

Aaron Samuel Mulenga
Akudzwe Elsie Chiwa
Alexandra Karakashian
Amy Rusch
Athi Patra Ruga
Bert Pauw
Billie Zangewa
Patrick Bongoy
Bronwyn Katz
Buhlebezwe Siwani
Bulumko Mbete
Carolyn Parton
Chris Soal
Cyrus Kabiru
Daniel Halter
David Brits
Dominique Edwards
Elias Sime
Turiya Magadlela
Frances Goodman
Francois Knoetze
Gabrielle Kruger
Gerald Machona
Igshaan Adams
Inga Somdyala
Jill Joubert
Jody Paulsen
Jake Singer
Kresiah Mukwazhi
Laurence Lemoana
Liza Grobler
Lyndi Sales
Mabunda Gonḉalo
Ibrahim Mahama
Michael MacGarry
Masimba Hwati
Maurice Mbikayi
Mawande Ka Zenzile
Mia Chaplin
Moffat Takadiwa
Mounir Fatmi
Nandipha Mntambo
Nicholas Hlobo
Nobukho Nqaba
Pascale Tayou
Pierrѐ Fouche
Pierre Vermeulen
Sandile Zulu
Serge Attukwei Clottey
Siwa Mgoboza
Stephanѐ Conradie
Usha Seejarim
Wallen Mapondera
Willie Bester

Exhibition Type:
Past Exhibition
Media Enquiries:

Zikhona Jafta
Tel: +27 (0)21 481 3862
Fax: +27 (0)21 461 9620
Switchboard: +27 (0) 21 481 3800

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