Nontobeko Ntombela in collaborative work
Texts by Nontobeko Ntombela
Works by South African curator Nontobelo Ntombela compiled by Art on our Mind in 2017.
Senzeni Marasela is a cross-disciplinary artist who explores photography, video, prints, and mixed-medium installations involving textiles and embroidery. Her work deals with history, memory, and personal narrative, emphasizing historical gaps and overlooked figures. Her work includes embroidery, print and video as well as performance and has been widely exhibited in South Africa, Europe and the US. Her work features in prominent local and international collections, including MoMA, New York. She was recently part of the Johannesburg Pavillion at the last Venice Biennale.
Born in Thokoza, South Africa, Marasela studied at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, where she obtained a BA Fine Arts in 1998. In 2003 she started a project titled Theodorah comes to Johannesburg, a durational performance based on her mother Theodorah’s stories about travels from the rural area of Mvenyane to Johannesburg, a journey of 11 hours. Like many young black women in the city, her mother was traumatised by events that took place in apartheid South Africa during the 1960s. Many black women returned to live in the countryside and many more were forced to undertake journeys into strangeness. Marasela wore a yellow dress that her mother gave her, taking on Theodorah as an alter ego. The artist has always felt that Theodorah’s story was representative of that of many black women in South Africa. The emblematic yellow dress has been translated into drawings, prints and thread works, always with the figure’s back to the audience. The story of Theodorah never left Marasela’s work and has at times been combined with that of Sarah Baartman (who was ‘exhibited’ around nineteenth- century Europe as the ‘Hottentot Venus’) and of the artist herself.
Dr Sharlene Khan and Senzeni Marasela at Rhodes Fine Art Department on 26 April 2018.
VIDEO: Art on our Mind Creative Dialogue with Senzeni Marasela
AUDIO: Art on our Mind Creative Dialogue with Senzeni Marasela
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ARCHIVAL RESOURCES: Senzeni Marasela
Nontobeko Ntombela is a curator based in Johannesburg. She currently works at the Wits School of Arts developing the postgraduate programs in curatorial and exhibition practices. She previously worked as the curator of the contemporary collection at the Johannesburg Art Gallery (2010–12) and the Durban Institute of Technology Art Gallery (2006–10). Her curatorial projects include Solo at Cape Town Art Fair (2018); A Fragile Archive at Johannesburg Art Gallery (2012); MTN New Contemporaries (2010) for which she was guest curator; Layers at the Goodman Gallery project space, Johannesburg (2010); Modern Fabrics at the Bag Factory, Johannesburg (2008); From Here to There at the Association of Visual Arts (AVA), Cape Town (2007), as part of the CAPE 07 fringe. Ntombela has participated in international programs including the Bilateral Exchange Project between Germany and South Africa (2007); Close Connections (Africa Reflected) Curator’s Workshop in Amsterdam (2009); Break the Silence Scotland (2002–3).
Dr Sharlene Khan and Nontobeko Ntombela at Rhodes Fine Art Department on 8 September 2017.
VIDEO: Art on our Mind Creative Dialogue with Nontobeko Ntombela
AUDIO: Art on our Mind Creative Dialogue with Nontobeko Ntombela
TRANSCRIPT: Art on our Mind Creative Dialogue with Nontobeko Ntombela
Preparational talk with Art on our Mind research team and Nontobeko Ntombela on 8 May 2017.
AUDIO: Pre-Talk with Nontobeko Ntombela
ARCHIVAL RESOURCES: Nontobeko Ntombela
WORKS by Nontobeko Ntombela
PRESS AND REVIEWS on Nontobeko Ntombela
Thinking Through, Talking Back: Creative Theorisation as Sites
Art on our Mind panel discussion with Dr Sharlene Khan, Prof Pumla Dineo Gqola, Dr Yvette Abrahams, Prof Neelika Jayawardane and Dr Betty Govinden held as part of the the Colloquium ‘Six Mountains on her back’ (Re)reading African Feminisms at Rhodes University, 21-22 July 2017
An excerpt of the panel discussion was published by Dr Sharlene Khan in Agenda – Empowering women for gender equity 32:3, 2018 entitled: “Thinking Through, Talking Back: Creative Theorisation as Sites of Praxis-Theory” – A creative dialogue between Sharlene Khan, Pumla Dineo Gqola, Yvette Abrahams, Neelika Jayawardane and Betty Govinden. [pdf]
Find the biographies of the panelists below