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Goodman Gallery Cape Town
14 April – 18 May 2016
In Furthermore, his first solo exhibition with Goodman Gallery, Nolan Oswald Dennis continues to explore the ever-fluctuating conditions of place and time. The ostensible certainty of chronology and territory is negated in meticulous line drawings, inscribed wax sculptures and printed textiles of a re-imagined South African Flag.
The idea of becoming forms a major theme in the works, which attest to the still transitional state of South Africa’s fledgling democracy. In speaking about the works, the artists states ‘this is a re-examination of the political technologies of memory and forgetting that are mobilized in the becoming of (South) Africa.’ Becoming, then, is a future state and Dennis’ exhibition marks the process of attempting to determine his own place in the always collapsing social fiction that marks the community of the late rainbow nation.
Engaging the urgent reemergence of decolonization and resistance discourses, Dennis identifies specific objects, infrastructures and texts through which he imagines new ways of mapping this critical moment. Dennis locates this body of work at the intersection of imperial time , contested memory and spacial neoliberalism so that they become a series of propositions for dissecting a long term transition – for existing in a constant state of becoming.
Nolan Oswald Dennis (b. 1988, Zambia) is an interdisciplinary artist from Johannesburg, South Africa. His practice explores what he calls ‘a black consciousness of space’: the material and metaphysical conditions of decolonization.
His work questions the politics of space and time through a system-specific, rather than site-specific approach. He is concerned with the hidden structures that pre-determine the limits of our social and political imagination. Through a language of diagrams, drawings and models he explores a hidden landscape of systematic and structural conditions that organise our political sub-terrain. This sub-space is framed by systems which transverse multiple realms (technical, spiritual economic, psychological, etc) and therefore Dennis’ work can be seen as an attempt to stitch these, sometime opposed, sometimes complimentary, systems together. To read technological systems alongside spiritual systems, to combine political fictions with science fiction.
He holds a degree in Architecture from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg and a Masters of Science in the Art, Culture and Technology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).