Art Insure

Gallery MOMO

From the series: Living in Yeoville

Gideon Mendel
From the series: Living in Yeoville, Photograph ,

SEE LISTING This Political Song

Blessing Ngobeni
This Political Song, Mixed Media , 200 x 154 cm


Andrew Tshabangu
Bridges, Exhibition Invitation ,

SEE LISTING Other Stories

Sharlene Khan
Other Stories, mixed media ,

SEE LISTING I put a spell on me

Mary Sibande
I put a spell on me, digital print on cotton rag matte paper , 90 x 60cm


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Gideon Mendel at Gallery MOMO

'Medel seems to search out the gentle structure of the emotions that collide or mutate or combine in the strange violence of the society.' - The Critic 1988, John Van Zyl

Gallery Momo presents ‘Living in Yeoville revisited’ , a reissue of Gideon Mendel’s exhibition 'Living in Yeoville‘ at the Market Photo Gallery from 1988.

'Twenty-five years ago, in 1988, I presented an exhibition entitled ‚Living in Yeoville‘ at the Market Photo Gallery. All the photographs were taken within a mile from my home. Recently, having reason to re-examine my work from the 1980’s in South Africa, I was struck in particulare by this projects. With the added weight of time, it now seems to say a great deal.

I was then part of a young generation of „struggle photographers“ committed to documenting the political mobilization of the period. I documented violent repression by the state and many tragic funerals of young township activists. Looking back at this work from Yeoville I can see that it was a personal ‚visual safety valve‘ coming from an impulse to make images within a landscape that included me, where I could be playful as a photographer yet still engage with the politics of the time.

When the government declared a State of Emergency in 1986, under which any photography of political protest or violence was outlawed, this work took on an added urgency. Redoubling my effort to explore the everyday encounters of black and white people taking place in Yeoville’s public spaces. I was searching for the small, often intimate moments that could reflect the divisions of apartheid.

This exhibition at Gallery Momo presents a selection of vintage prints from the project, many of which were originally displayed at the 1988 exhibition. It will also be showcasing my Living in Yeoville film, which was originally commissioned by curator Okwui Enwezor for Rise and Fall of Apartheid exhibition.

The film is a contemporary re-engagement with this defining documentary project, from my youth. Whilst making it I looked again at every image on the 344 rolls of film I had shot, and in the process initiated a personal rediscovery of the texture of that moment in history. In my old contact sheets and images I saw sometimes that I was unaware of at the time: ten years before liberation the bureaucratic edifice of apartheid was in the process of crumbling, and this was played out in the lives of the people of Yeoville.'

- Gideon Mendel

23 October 2014 - 24 November 2014

Blessing Ngobeni at Gallery MOMO

Gallery Momo presents Blessing Ngobeni’s ‘In His State of Madness’.

‘With this series, I am exploring a mindset of a society influenced by power and its impact on individuals. I am concerned with a state of mind which allows people to reach a certain level of chaos. My preoccupation is an understanding of the power of human natures, that which seems to either inform the state of madness or is infected by uncontrolled impulses.

Within the power of nature we are exposed to impulse that are informed by our environment; both good and bad. The choice to act on these impulses can be harmful or helpful to society as it depends on whether an individual chooses to abuse or uplift others. This predicament is an inherent aspect of the state of madness which speaks to the combative relationship an individual experiences. Thus understanding the human experience of holding a position of power, and how one honors the task, is a question of will power and management of one’s impulses. Of note, when power is not used sensibly and guarded against impulses, it has the potential to lead those who possess it astray. When it does so, it performs the undesirable state of madness which spreads like a virus throughout society, with an impact that may not seem immediately obvious, particularly to the architect. It is unlike any drug and unimaginable to a sober mind (drunk with power). As a result the scars that corrode society’s flesh are deep but continuously inflicted.

Preoccupied by effects of power, mindset, state of madness and impulse on human beings, my artworks are an exploration that might allow for a better understanding of the current times that are indicative of a society marked by both indicative of a society marked by both chaos and order. I am concerned with the social current in which power is effective, especially the way it is used and abused by affluent and authoritative individuals in society.

In this body of work, I appropriate images and forms from various magazines and related sources, to create visual representations that are a mix of reality and fiction on paper and canvas. These visual representations are reflective of both power relations and social madness in society, as well as an exploration of my ideology for the realization of the future of this world while in per suite of power.’

(Blessing Ngobeni)

10 April 2014 - 19 May 2014

Rene-Paul Savignan and Andrew Tshabangu at Gallery MOMO

A travelling exhibition of black-and-white photographs entitled 'BRIDGES', to be shown at the Durban Art Gallery as part of the France / South Africa Season celebrating a 15 year old collaboration between documentary photographers South African Andrew Tshabangu and Rene-Paul Savignan from Reunion Island.

The focal point of the work is spiritual and religious practice and to this aim the artists have spent time researching and documenting in both countries. The presence of a rich diversity of religious practices is common to both locations. On Reunion Island, due to a long history of inhabitation by people of diverse ethnicities, a complex range of religious beliefs is found. The focus in South Africa has been the many ways in which Christianity is interpreted and experienced by Africans.

Savignan, who was born in Le Port in 1970, began his career working in a ‘fast lab’; after two years of workshop studies he started his own laboratory and his works are regularly exhibited on Reunion Island and internationally. Tshabangu was born in Soweto, in 1966, and currently teaches photography at the Alexander Community Art Centre.

The photographers agreed to a unique and interesting approach: they would always take photographs at the same time and place. In visiting each other’s countries the artists were able to connect with their respective history and culture as well as revising their awareness of their own. “Reunion Island can be considered as a laboratory of the meetings of civilizations,” says Savignan, who observed that the diversity of religious beliefs connected people rather than divided them, with many islanders embracing more than one belief system without prejudice.

“The religious ceremony is a critical vehicle through which the community and the individual communes with the creator and with nature,” says Tshabangu. “In this body of work, I am portraying Christian practices from an African perspective and expressing the passion for a brand of faith steeped in both the Western Christian doctrine and African religions. This brew of spirituality is rooted in the heart of African communities.”

'BRIDGES' comprises eighty black and white photographs selected from thousands of images captured over the years. Savignan’s work is entitled 'Many Rivers to Cross'; Tshabangu entitles his contribution 'In My Father’s House'. Together they explore and document that most fundamental of human needs: the expression of spiritual longing through communal ritual.

Event organised as part of the  France-South Africa Seasons 2012 & 2013.

28 February 2013 - 08 April 2013

Sharlene Khan at Gallery MOMO

Sharlene Khan's latest body of work stems from her work and interactions with informal traders in and around Johannesburg. Khan conducted a series of interviews with traders who, as migrants and refugees, are forced to eke out livelihoods in the inforamal sector, despite many being educated up to tertiary level. The interviews were transcribed onto the surfaces of canvases, after which Khan painted images of the street traders, finally embroidering the canvas surfaces.

31 March 2011 - 30 April 2011

Various Artists at Gallery MOMO

In its last exhibition of the year, Gallery Momo showcases works by a selection of gallery artists including Mary Sibande, Lyndi Sales, Theresa-Anne Mackintosh, Rodney Place and Ronsome Stanley. 

08 November 2010 - 31 December 2010