Perhaps when those who had had the opportunity to submerge themselves in the parking lot of Oxford Parks, losing themselves amongst contemporary art offerings, literally speaking that is, because once you go down into that parking lot of Oxford Parks your mobile device lose internet connectivity altogether. You are cut-off from the ever connected world. Anyway as I was saying, perhaps when TAF’22 visitors and collectors look back they may see in solitude, a figure of a black woman. Head glad in a doek. Facial features subdued by a stern look. If this picture doesn’t become part of their recollection it would have been a matter of taste that has hindered their eyesight from encountering Umfazi, Woman, Mbali Tshabalala’s vehicle through which she meditates on her state of being.
Tshabalala is the only artists that Gallery 2 brought to the fair under the project exhibition Ever-Present Shift. In the exhibition the artist delving deeper into representation as a device. Toying with ‘the gaze’ in a dual performance art production process as both the artist and seater in her compositions. She reflects on a given identity that anchors her being in our ideological landscape. Scant nuances that edifies what a woman should be. But her portrayal of herself in this guise boldly confronts, numerously, our expectations what a woman should be and as such the submissive expectant Umfazi’s aura is crowded by that of a regal persona in the body of work comprising the exhibition. These visual expositions realised in printmaking and painting were produced in collaboration with David Krut Projects. I had the opportunity to talk to her in the afternoon of the first day of the fair and what unfolded in our conversation was a personal reflection of the artist’s past four years as she gradually moved towards developing the project that bloomed into Ever-Present Shift.
© Mmutle Arthur Kgokong, 2022
+All images featured on this site have been used with permission of the artist and may not be re-used without consent of the artist. **Graphics for the blog post teaser poster is property of Mmutle Arthur Kgokong.
++The audio version of this interview, encountered in version .Speedball remains the property of Mmutle Arthur Kgokong except where his name appears alongside that of a featured artist or artists in the reference statement.
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