Thabiso Sekgala || Bôna

Thabiso Sekgala || Bôna
25 January - 29 February 2020
Installation View
Thabiso Sekgala || Bôna
25 January - 29 February 2020
Installation View
Thabiso Sekgala || Bôna
25 January - 29 February 2020
Installation View
Thabiso Sekgala || Bôna
25 January - 29 February 2020
Installation View
Thabiso Sekgala || Bôna
25 January - 29 February 2020
Installation View
Thabiso Sekgala || Bôna
25 January - 29 February 2020
Installation View
Thabiso Sekgala || Bôna
25 January - 29 February 2020
Installation View
Thabiso Sekgala || Bôna
25 January - 29 February 2020
Installation View
Thabiso Sekgala || Bôna
25 January - 29 February 2020
Installation View
Thabiso Sekgala || Bôna
25 January - 29 February 2020
Installation View

Thabiso Sekgala

Second Transition 17, 2012 Dibond-mounted inkjet print on archival fibre paper

Thabiso Sekgala

Tsholofelo Moagie, Moletsie, former Bophuthatswana , 2010 Inkjet fibre print

Thabiso Sekgala

Bulawayo, Assembled, 2013 Dibond mounted inkjet print on archival fibre paper

Thabiso Sekgala

Tiger, 2012 Dibond-mounted inkjet print on archival fibre paper 70 x 70 cm

Thabiso Sekgala

The air we breathe, these metal release Co2 for miners underground, Marikana, 2012 Dibond-mounted inkjet print on archival fibre paper 70 x 70 cm

Thabiso Sekgala

Amman, Exercise, Wehdat, 2013 Dibond mounted inkjet print on archival fibre paper

Thabiso Sekgala

Unity Village, 6th Street , 2013 Dibond mounted inkjet print on archival fibre paper

Thabiso Sekgala

Second Transition 23, 2012 Inkjet fibra print

Thabiso Sekgala

Amman, Traces, Jabal Weibdeh, 2013 Dibond-mounted inkjet print on archival fibre paper

Thabiso Sekgala

Pula, 2009 Colour photograph on fibre paper

Thabiso Sekgala

Leftovers, Jabal Hussein, Amman, 2013 Dibond mounted inkjet print on archival fibre paper

Thabiso Sekgala

Sealed, Jamal Webdin, Amman, 2013 Dibond-mounted inkjet print on archival fiber paper

Thabiso Sekgala

Thembi Mathebula or Nzimande, Siyabuswa, former Kwandebele, 2011 Colour photograph on fibre paper

Thabiso Sekgala

Sitting on koppie during the last days of the strike, Marikana, 2012 Inkjet print on archival fibre paper

Thabiso Sekgala

Landmark, Troya, former Kwandebele, 2009 Colour photograph on fibre paper

Thabiso Sekgala

Moment of Joy, 2012 Inkjet fibra print

Thabiso Sekgala

The Terrace Hotel, Bulawayo, 2013 Dibond-mounted inkjet print on archival fibre paper 70 x 70 cm

Thabiso Sekgala

Al-Zuhoor hilltop, Amman, 2013 Dibond mounted inkjet print on archival fibre paper

Thabiso Sekgala

Graveyard, Jabal El Hussein, 2013 Dibond mounted inkjet print on archival fibre paper

Thabiso Sekgala

Feeding stray cats, Jabal el Hussein, 2013 Dibond mounted inkjet print on archival fibre paper

Thabiso Sekgala

Home, Loding, former Kwandebele, 2010 Color photograph on fibre paper

Thabiso Sekgala

Road divide Gauteng and Northwest province, Hamaskraal, former Bophuthatswana, 2011 Colour photograph on fibre paper

Thabiso Sekgala

Amman, Church, Jabal Weibdeh, 2013 Dibond mounted inkjet print on archival fibre paper

Thabiso Sekgala

Lady in Red, Mara Camp, Amman, 2013 Dibond mounted inkjet print on archival fibre paper

Goodman Gallery Johannesburg
25 January – 29 February 2020

Goodman Gallery is pleased to present Bôna, a selection of work from several photo essays by Thabiso Sekgala which explore how social borders determine visibility in society.

The exhibition’s title, Bôna, is a Sesotho word with a double meaning. As a verb, Bôna means to “see”. When used as a pronoun, the word translates to “them”. Sekgala’s photographs evoke this title through the responses they elicit from the subjects in the work and in turn us, the viewers.

“I consider how people develop place-related identities out of a notorious past and the complex ways in which people develop nostalgia for histories that could be considered illegitimate,” said Sekgala in an artist’s statement. Drawing on this understanding, Sekgala used portraiture and landscape photography to challenge these mindsets by creating an archive of shifting realities where people re- imagined themselves within a contested space.

An example of this can be found in Sekgala’s Homelands series (2009- 2011). Over the course of three years, Sekgala travelled between the areas formerly known as KwaNdebele and Bophuthatswana taking pictures of young people. The subsequent portraits, set against rural landscapes, present a contrast between the past and the future, as well as the loaded meaning of home.

Second Transition, a series taken in 2012, continues this narrative. Returning to Bophuthatswana, today called North West province, Sekgala poignantly documented the prevailing economic exclusion in a small town called Marikana two decades after the end of apartheid. Taken in the same year as the Marikana massacre, the photographs in this body of work tells this story through the setting of the mines and individuals whose lives come at the cost of this profiting from the land.

Sekgala once again explored the concept of home in his 2013 series, titled Running. In these works, taken in Bulawayo and Amman, Sekgala documented two cities borne out of settlements. The first, Bulawayo, was founded by a group of people led by Zulu Chief Mzilikazi in the early 19th century, who settled in the area that came to be known as Matebeleland. Two centuries later, this area has seen a reversal of history, as millions of Zimbabweans have fled to South Africa. Amman is built around an old Palestinian refugee camp. These photographs were taken during a period when America was still threatening to attack Syria. In the series, Sekgala explores the condition that defines a home, from personal, political to economic circumstances.

Sekgala died in Johannesburg in 2014. Bôna is the first solo exhibition of Sekgala’s work at Goodman Gallery since then, following consultation with the late photographer’s close friends and family.

Thabiso Sekgala

Thabiso Sekgala (b. 1981 in Johannesburg, South Africa) was a photographer whose work explored themes of abandonment, memory, spatial politics and concept of home.

‘In photography I am inspired by looking at human experience whether lived or imagined,’ Sekgala once expressed. ‘Images capture our history and who we are, our presence and absence. Growing up in both rural and urban South Africa influences my work. The dualities of these both environments inform the stories I am telling through my photographs, by engaging issues around land, peoples’ movement, identity and the notion of home.’

Sekgala held solo exhibitions in South Africa and Europe and exhibited in group shows internationally, including Les Rencontres D’Arles, LagosPhoto Festival and Bamako Biennale. In 2013 he had residencies in both the Kunsterhaus Bethanien, Berlin, and at HIWAR/Durant Al Funun, Jordan.

He studied at Johannesburg’s Market Photo Workshop from 2007 to 2008 and was awarded the Tierney Fellowship in 2010.

Sekgala died in Johannesburg in 2014.