Circa Gallery: Blessing Ngobeni
Blessing Ngobeni’s latest body of work looks at history and meditates on the errors that have been made by past generations. Ngobeni is particularly preoccupied with the concepts of oppression and the enslavement of the mind.
The exhibition is curated by Thembinkosi Goniwe, who has worked closely with Blessing to unravel and articulate his multi-layered, multi-disciplinary practice. “A Note From Error”, as a body of work, presents the viewer with a simple question: What have we learned from the errors of history?
Ngobeni’s use of collage, combining imagery from magazines, books, and social media within his distinctive figurative characters, reflects the various perspectives of current affairs of our era. The artworks impart mixed sensibilities to the viewer: good and bad, negative and positive, excitements and calms, promises and disappointments, successes and failures. Between these binaries lie the complexities that determine the way we live, look, speak and interact. Ngobeni observes our democracy maturing, but he also sees the constant, and consistent, repetition of mistakes.
As Thembinkosi Goniwe writes, “Why are we turning a blind eye to the ripple effects that our past errors have on the present and future? Why is it that we are not taking a note of such error in our society? What about the ethical role and responsibility of art in this predicament of our time? These are the thematic questions this exhibition explores, assembling artworks whose contents and expressions are about the dark side of our current democratic state. The wonderful achievements of our democracy do not match the greater tragic reality through which the majority of our people live today. Not to mention the corruption that pervades our government and the rising gap between the rich and the poor. Art cannot be oblivious to these problems, nor should it be burdened by them. Such is the premise on which this exhibition is thought, produced and curated. It is an aesthetic inquiry into socio-political issues of our time.”
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