Goodman Gallery Projects at Arts on Main is proud to present a new show by Cape Town based artist network, Gugulective. Titled Ityala aliboli/Debt don’t rot, the show is a conceptual confrontation of the economic crisis in South Africa, which the artists assert – while exploring the legacies of colonialism and apartheid as well as the disappointment of democracy – exponentially precedes the global recession of the past few years.
The Gugulective, since its inception in 2006, has negotiated the boundaries that continue to fragment South African society. The collective is made up of a group of young artists, musicians, writers, DJs, rappers and poets active in Cape Town’s eastern townships. Current members include Ziphozenkosi Dayile, Athi Mongezeleli Joja, Ayanda Kilimane, Kemang Wa Lehulere, Khanyisile Mbongwa, Dathini Mzayiya and Unathi Sigenu. These cultural practitioners proclaim that the collective was borne out of a need for intellectual and creative spaces on the periphery of the mainstream art world and for the past four years have primarily been working and exhibiting in a local shebeen called Kwa-Malmli’s in Gugulethu. Reimagining the shebeen as an exhibition space, the Gugulective have persisted in having shows in their own neighbourhood rather than being pulled into the centre of town.
It seems fitting that the Gugulective, in their debut solo show in Johannesburg, exhibit at Arts on Main. Situated in City and Suburban – a mostly distressed inner city district where exclusion from economic advancement is palpable – Arts on Main is an award-winning development that has uplifted the area through cultural projects and spaces. This notion of cultural development reflects Gugulective’s pursuit of using and promoting the arts as an instrument towards social change through the platform they have created at Kwa-Malmli’s Shebeen.