Friday, September 11, 2009

Rape of Europa


I know that I have already posted this image by Nandipha Mntambo before but encountered it for the third time at an exhibition last night; the opening of Umphatsi Wemphi, her new solo show at Brodie/Stevenson. This has to be the hottest image in town: why else would everyone want it... chatted to Nandipha about it last night I told her how our photography department at The Sunday Independent (one guy) argued that it was too dark to be printed. I knew that Mntambo had intended for it to be dark and not just in a macarbe sense but actually visually dark. Her explanation: she wanted people to have to look at the image really closely to make out the details or for the details in the image to be revealed slowly. I quite liked her explanation; there is something poetic about her intentions it also challenges the speed at which we consume imagery in our image-saturated world. She said something else that was surprising and peculiar: she had never really given much thought to clothing even though her aesthetic is so closely related to it - especially all the cowhide works that are moulded on her body. It contradicts what I have written about her work. Aside from a series of some rather ghastly charcoal drawings it was a stimulating exhibition. I particularly liked her Penis - Vagina One Man Capsule work it echoes the ever popular Rape of Europa in that the female and male (aspects of the self) are unified, here of course into one singular object that one can inhabit and step into. But I enjoy the symbolic significance, the blurring and unification of the genders, it is like sex the male and female become one instead of it being conflicting entities that fight for supremacy as evidenced in the work of Nicholas Hlobo.


Lizza Littlewort said...

Nandipha hasn't given much thought to clothing? Have you actually seen her? She's taking the piss.... a result often arising from being asked dumb questions by journalists

Mary Corrigall said...

Hey Marlon... chill-out, and read my entry carefully: I didn't ask Nandipha if she had given much thought to clothing; in all my writing on her I have, like anyone else would, observed how fundamental clothing is to her practice. I asked her about this relationship not whether it existed... nice to have feedback but please just read my posts more carefully before commenting