Senzeni Marasela in collaborative work
New Traditions in Beauty Queens. Senzeni Marasela & Louise McCagg, A.I.R (Artists In Residence) Gallery, Brooklyn, New York May 25 – June 19, 2011 www.airgallery.org
“New Traditions in Beauty Queens showcases the collaboration between long-time A.I.R artist Louise McCagg and South African artist Senzeni Marasela. Their partnership started when mutual friends introduced McCagg and Marasela in 2008, and they discovered common interests on issues of identity and politics. In the exhibition, the artists’ duo is presenting an installation of dolls, a video projection, and a series of interviews on beauty queens. The exhibition will consist of a collection of dolls by Marasela and a series of doll sculptures by McCagg. Marasela’s dolls are bought in stores around Johannes- burg, her native city. The doll sculptures by McCagg are casts of Marasela’s face. Each doll carries McCagg’s sig- nature form: shrunken head casts. The heads, hands, and feet are made of Sculpey; the bodies and clothes are made of fabric. Both artists’ doll installation will be part of Marasela’s performance that will take place in the gallery.
McCagg lives and works in New York City and has exhibited her work throughout the United States and internationally. Exhibitions have included The 2009 Venice Biennale, The Sculpture Center (New York), and Sejong Arts Festival (Seoul). McCagg’s work has been acquired by collections including Lyman Allyn Museum, New London, CT; The New York Public Library Collection; Kresge Art Museum, East Lansing, MI; Yale University Library, New Haven, CT; Museum of Fine Art, Budapest, Hungary.
Senzeni Marasela is represented by Axis Gallery and has exhibited internationally. Her work is currently on view in MoMA’s Impressions from South Africa, 1965 to Now and in The Newark Museum’s Present Tense: Arts of Contemporary Africa. She is featured in DARKROOM: South African Photography and New Media 1950-Present, organized by the Virginia Museum of Fine Art, which recently closed at the Birmingham Museum of Art, AL. Marasela is interested in new readings of the identity of black women, their relationship to motherhood, and the entanglement of these issues with the creation of black dolls.”
Text from: The Arts Council of the African Studies Association Newsletter, Volume 88, Spring/Summer 2011, pp. 16-17 [download here]