'the moon is not the sun at night'

Kendell Geers / Mateo López / Grada Kilomba / Misheck Masamvu / Carlos Garaicoa / Naama Tsabar / Kiluanji Kia Henda / Sue Williamson 05 January - 30 January 2022

Goodman Gallery is pleased to present “the moon is not the sun at night”, a group presentation bringing together works by artists; Carlos Garaicoa, Kendell Geers, William Kentridge, Kiluanji Kia Henda, Grada Kilomba, Mateo Lopez, Naama Tsabar and Sue Williamson.

The presentation takes its title from a verse in the poem, ‘The Rose’, written by American poet Ben Lerner. “the moon is not the sun at night” is an evocation to rethink beliefs and accepted knowledge(s). It is an invitation to question our initial encounters with what we perceive. By blatantly stating what is “known” (that the moon is not the sun), an element of doubt is cast on our awareness, allowing a process through which known facts can be questioned, falsified or even made true again.

Through varying methods of opposition, works in the exhibition challenge accepted frames of reference. At first glance, Tsabar’s work appears as paintings or drawings but through closer observation, they reveal themselves to be intricate sound pieces that contradict their natural character.

In Garaicoa’s work, history and memory are intermingled to suggest ways in which truth and fiction can become conflated. Re-memory is threaded onto the image where tree structures turn into spectral structures — they are there but also not there. Kia Henda tests the limits of freedom (and by extension confinement) by pointing to the absurdity of restrictions on the movement of people — which fail against other species.

Lopez’ ‘Sillas Núcleo (two chairs)’ straddles both activation and functionality, offering audiences a gesture of hospitality – the ability to sit and rest – alongside a visual experience.

Both Kilomba and Geers, reach into the chambers of history to excavate colonial legacies of fetishisation, plunder and death. Kentridge and Williamson offer us models of how to reflect on history’s untranslatability — suggesting multiple ways in which multiple mediums (postcards and the opera) can be reinterpreted and reread.

Artworks

About

Kendell Geers

South African-born, Belgian artist Kendell Geers changed his date of birth to May 1968 in order to give birth to himself as a work of art. Describing himself as an ‘AniMystikAKtivist’, Geers takes a syncretic approach to art that weaves together diverse Afro-European traditions, including animism, alchemy, mysticism, ritual and a socio-political activism laced with black humour, irony and cultural contradiction.

Geers’s work has been shown in numerous international group exhibitions, including the Venice Biennale (2007) and Documenta (2002). Major solo shows include Heart of Darkness at Iziko South African National Gallery in Cape Town (1993), Third World Disorder at Goodman Gallery Cape Town (2010) and more recently Songs of Innocence and of Experience at Goodman Gallery Johannesburg (2012). His exhibition Irrespektiv travelled to Newcastle, Ghent, Salamanca and Lyon between 2007 and 2009. Geers was included on Art Unlimited at Art 42 Basel in 2011. Work by Geers was included on Manifesta 9 in Genk, Limburg, Belgium and a major survey show of his work was exhibited at Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany in 2013. Earlier this year Geers held a solo exhibition, The Second Coming (Do What Thou Wilt), at Rua Red in Dublin.

Mateo López

Mateo López (b. 1978, Bogotá, Colombia) lives and works be-tween Bogotá and New York. He studied architecture for two years at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá before switching to Visual Arts at Bogotá’s Universidad de Los Andes.

López’s work engages with cartographies, journeys and con-struction processes while grappling with themes of chance, encounter and time. His practice traces a conceptual ap-proach, expanding from drawings to installations, architec-ture, films and sculptural choreography. Key international solo exhibitions include Sin Principio / Sin Final Museo de Arte Universidad Nacional, Bogota, Colombia (2018); Undo List, The Drawing Center, New York, USA (2017); A Weed is a Plant Out of Place, Lismore Castle Arts, Lismore, Ireland (2016) and Deriva at Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, Spain (2009). Important group exhibitions include United States of Latin America, curated by Jens Hoffmann and Pab-lo León de la Barra at Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Detroit, USA (2015); A Trip from Here to There, Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA (2013) and Ha sempre um copo de mar para um homem navegar, 29 Bienal de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil (2010).

Major awards and residencies include the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. William Kentridge’s Protégé, Geneva Switzerland in 2012 and the Gasworks Residency Program, London, UK in 2010, which was followed by an exhibition.

López’s work can be found in public collections around the world, including the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada; Banco de la Republica, Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango, Bogotá, Colombia, Inhotim, Minas Gerais, Brazil and Museum of Mod-ern Art (MoMA), New York, NY.

Grada Kilomba

Grada Kilomba (b. 1968, Lisbon, Portugal) is an interdisciplinary artist, whose work draws on memory, trauma, gender and post-colonialism, interrogating concepts of knowledge, power and violence. “What stories are told? How are they told? And told by whom?” are constant questions in Kilomba’s body of work, to revise post-colonial narratives.

Kilomba subversively translates text into image, movement and installation, by giving body, voice and form to her own critical writing. Performance, staged reading, video, photography, publications and installation are a platform for Kilomba’s unique practice of storytelling, which intentionally disrupts the proverbial ‘white cube’ through a new and urgent decolonial language and imagery.

Her work has been presented in major international events such as: La Biennale de Lubumbashi VI; 10. Berlin Biennale; Documenta 14, Kassel; 32. Bienal de São Paulo. Selected solo and group exhibitions include the Pinacoteca de São Paulo; Bildmuseet, Umeå; Kadist Art Foundation, Paris; The Power Plant, Toronto; Maxim Gorki Theatre, Berlin; MAAT-Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology, Lisbon; Secession Museum, Vienna; Bozar Museum, Brussels; PAC-Pavillion Art Contemporanea, Milan, among others. Kilomba’s work features in public and private collections worldwide.

Strongly influenced by the work of Frantz Fanon, Kilomba studied Freundian Psychoanalysis in Lisbon – at ISPA, and there she worked with war survivors from Angola and Mozambique. Early on she started writing and publishing stories, before extending her interests into staging, image, sound and movement.

Kilomba holds a distinguished Doctorate in Philosophy from the Freie Universität Berlin. She has lectured at several international universities, such as the University of Ghana and the Vienna University of Arts, and was a Guest Professor at the Humboldt Universität Berlin, Department of Gender Studies. For several years, she was a guest artist at the Maxim Gorki Theatre, in Berlin, developing Kosmos 2, a political intervention with refugee artists. She is the author of the acclaimed “Plantation Memories” (Unrast, 2008) a compilation of episodes of everyday racism written in the form of short psychoanalytical stories. Her book has been translated into several languages, and was listed as the most important non-fiction literature in Brazil, 2019.

The artist lives and works in Berlin.

Misheck Masamvu

Misheck Masamvu (b. 1980, Penhalonga, Zimbabwe) explores and comments on the socio-political setting of post-independence Zimbabwe, and draws attention to the impact of economic policies that sustain political mayhem. Masamvu raises questions and ideas around the state of ‘being’ and the preservation of dignity. His practice encompasses drawing, painting and sculpture.

Masamvu studied at Atelier Delta and Kunste Akademie in Munich, where he initially specialised in the realist style, and later developed a more avant-garde expressionist mode of representation with dramatic and graphic brushstrokes. His work deliberately uses this expressionist depiction, in conjunction with controversial subject matter, to push his audience to levels of visceral discomfort with the purpose of accurately capturing the plight, political turmoil and concerns of his Zimbabwean subjects and their experiences. His works serve as a reminder that the artist is constantly socially-engaged and is tasked with being a voice to give shape and form to a humane sociological topography. In 2020, Masamvu took part in the 22nd Biennale of Sydney.

Masamvu’s work has been well-received and exhibited in numerous shows including Armory Show 2018, Art Basel 2018, Basel Miami Beach 2017, 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair New York 2016, São Paulo Biennale 2016, and the Venice Biennale, Zimbabwe Pavillion 2011.

Carlos Garaicoa

Carlos Garaicoa (B. 1967 Havana, Cuba) studied thermodynamics and later painting at the Instituto Superior de Arte, Havana (1989 – 1994). 

Garaicoa developed a multidisciplinary approach to address issues of culture and politics, particularly Cuban, through the study of architecture, urbanism and history. He focuses on a dialogue between art and urban space through which investigates the social structure of our cities in terms of their architecture. Through a wide variety of materials and media, Garaicoa found ways to criticise modernist Utopian architecture and the collapse of the 20th century ideologies. 

Garaicoa’shas held numerous solo exhibitions including Lunds Konsthall and Skissernass Museum, Lund (2019); Parasol Unit Foundation, London (2018); Fondazione Merz, Torino (2017); MAAT, Lisbon (2017); Azkuna Zentroa, Bilbao (2017); Museum Villa Stuck, Munich (2016); Nasjonalmuseet, Oslo (2015); CA2M Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, Móstoles, Madrid (2014); Fundación Botín, Santander (2014); NC-Arte and FLORA ars + natura, Bogotá (2014); Kunsthaus Baselland Muttenz, Basel(2012); Kunstverein Braunschweig, Brunswick, Germany (2012); Contemporary Art Museum, Institute for Research in Art, Tampa (2007); H.F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York (2011); Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam (SMBA), Amsterdam (2010); Centre d’Art la Panera, Lérida (2011); Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Caja de Burgos (CAB), Burgos (2011); National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST), Athens (2011); Inhotim Instituto de Arte Contemporáneo, Brumadinho (2012); Caixa Cultural, Río de Janeiro (2008); Museo ICO (2012) and Matadero (2010), Madrid; IMMA, Dublin (2010); Palau de la Virreina, Barcelona (2006); Museum of Contemporary Art (M.O.C.A), Los Angeles (2005); Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango, Bogotá (2000).

Garaicoa has participated in prestigious international events such as the Biennials of Havana (1991, 1994, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2009, 2012, 2015), Shanghai (2010), São Paulo (1998, 2004), Venice (2009, 2005), Johannesburg (1995), Liverpool (2006) and Moscow (2005), the Triennials of Auckland (2007), San Juan (2004), Yokohama (2001) and Echigo-Tsumari (2012); Documenta 11 (2003) and 14 (2017) and PhotoEspaña 12 (2012).

In 2005 Garaicoa received the XXXIX International Contemporary Art Prize Foundation “Pierre de Monaco” in Montecarlo, and the Katherine S. Marmor Award in Los Angeles.

Garaicoa currently lives and works between Havana and Madrid.

Naama Tsabar

Naama Tsabar’s practice fuses elements from sculpture, music, performance and architecture. Her interactive works expose hidden spaces and systems, reconceive gendered narratives, and shift the viewing experience to one of active participation. Tsabar draws attention to the muted and unseen by propagating sound through space and sculptural form. Between sculpture and instrument, form and sound, Tsabar’s work lingers on the intimate, sensual and corporeal potentials within this transitional state. Collaborating with local communities of female identifying and gender non-conforming performers, Tsabar writes a new feminist and queer history of mastery.

Naama Tsabar (b. 1982, Israel) lives and works in New York. She received her MFA from Columbia University in 2010. Solo exhibitions and performances of Tsabar have been presented at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York), Museum of Art and Design (New York), The High Line Art (New York), Nasher Museum (Durham, NC), Kunsthaus Baselland (Switzerland), Palais De Tokyo (Paris), Prospect New Orleans, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, The Herziliya Museum for Contemporary Art in Israel, MARTE-C (El Salvador), CCA Tel Aviv (Israel), Faena Buenos Aires, Frieze Projects New York, Kasmin (New York), Paramo Gallery (Guadalajara), Dvir Gallery (Israel and Brussels), Spinello Projects (Miami) Shulamit Nazarian (Los Angeles). Selected group exhibitions featuring Tsabar’s work include, The Andy Warhol Museum, The Jewish Museum of Belgium, Ballroom Marfa, Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt, Elevation 1049 Gstaad (Switzerland), TM Triennale, Hasselt Genk, Belgium, ‘Greater New York’ 2010 at MoMA PS1, Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens (Belgium), The Bucharest Biennale for Young Artists, Hessel Museum of Art at CCS Bard, Casino Luxembourg (Luxembourg), ExtraCity in Antwerp (Belgium). Tsabar’s work has been featured in publications including ArtForum, Art In America, ArtReview, ARTnews, The New York Times, New York Magazine, Frieze, Bomb Magazine, Art Asia Pacific, Wire, and Whitewall, among others.

Tsabar’s work is held in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Seattle Art Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Bass Museum, PAMM, Kadist Collection, Jimenez-Colón Collection, Tel Aviv Museum, Israel Museum, and Coleccion Dieresis.

Kiluanji Kia Henda

Kiluanji Kia Henda (b. 1979, Luanda, Angola) employs a surprising sense of humour in his work, which often hones in on themes of identity, politics, and perceptions of post-colonialism and modernism in Africa. Kia Henda brings a critical edge to his multidisciplinary practice, which incorporates photography, video, and performance. Informed by a background surrounded by photography enthusiasts, Kia Henda’s conceptual-based work has further been sharpened by exposure to music, avant-garde theatre, and collaborations with a collective of emerging artists in Luanda’s art scene. Much of Kia Henda’s work draws on history through the appropriation and manipulation of public spaces and structures, and the different representations that form part of collective memory, in order to produce complex, yet powerful imagery.

Kia Henda has had solo exhibitions in galleries and institutions around the world. His work has featured on biennales in Venice, Dakar, São Paulo and Gwanju as well as major travelling exhibitions such as Making Africa: A Continent of Contemporary Design and The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Hell, Purgatory revisited by Contemporary African Artists. In 2019, Kia Henda’s work was acquired by Tate Modern in London, and he was selected to participate on the Unlimited sector at Art Basel. In 2020 Kia Henda will be shown at the MAN Museo d’Arte Provincia di Nuoro in Italy, marking his first major solo exhibition in a European museum.

Kia Henda currently lives and works between Luanda and Lisbon.

Sue Williamson

Sue Williamson (b. 1941, Lichfield, UK) emigrated with her family to South Africa in 1948. Trained as a printmaker, Williamson also works in installation, photography and video. In the 1970s, she started to make work which addressed social change during apartheid and by the 1980s Williamson was well known for her series of portraits of women involved in the country’s political struggle.

Referring to her practice, Williamson says: " I am interested in objects, often very humble ones, and the stories behind them. I am interested in the media, in the subtext that runs behind newspaper reports, and in books which may seem mundane like a tourist guidebook. But most of all I am interested in people, in their stories, and in the exact words they use to describe their memories, experiences and expectations’.

Williamson has avoided the rut of being caught in an apartheid-era aesthetic, constantly re-assessing changing situations, and finding new artistic languages to work out her ideas.

In 2018, Williamson was Goodman Gallery’s featured artist at the FNB Joburg Art Fair, where she exhibited her work Messages from the Atlantic Passage, a large-scale installation of shackled, suspended glass bottles engraved with details taken from 19th century slave trade documents. This installation was also exhibited the previous year at Art Basel in Switzerland and at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale in India in 2018.

Williamson’s works feature in numerous public collections across the globe, including those at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA, Tate Modern, London, UK, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C., USA, Wifredo Lam Centre, Havana, Cuba, Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa, and Johannesburg Art Gallery, South Africa.

Williamson has received various awards and fellowships such as the Bellagio Creative Arts Fellowship 2011, Italy, Rockefeller Foundation, the Visual Artist Research Award Fellowship 2007, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C., USA and the Lucas Artists Residency Fellowship 2005, Montalvo Art Center, California, USA.

Sue Williamson lives and works in Cape Town, South Africa.