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Lerato Shadi: Makhuba Window Performance and Installation

09 Dec-16 Dec 2014

Lerato Shadi will undertake a performance in Rivington Place's large window

Over the years artists have been invited to ‘speak to the street’ and following a 2013 ROSL Visual Arts residency at Hospitalfield Arts, artist Lerato Shadi presents Makhuba. She will write and erase on alternate days over six days from 9 until 16 December, and thereafter her actions will remain as a trace until 4 January 2015.

Lerato Shadi uses her own body to investigate ‘the politics of transformation, or transition, from absence to presence, subject to object, inclusion, exclusion and vice versa‘. Makhuba is a companion piece to Seipone, a work performed in Berlin and Johannesburg in 2012, where she wrote about her past, and on alternate days she created and erased words. Her new work will focus on the future. She will conjure a future for herself connected to society, placing herself in the world. She will again write and erase.

‘It will be a narrative about the future and that places my process in a space between thinking and writing. It’s something I often dwell on; the different lives you give your thoughts when you speak, write or perform.’ Lerato Shadi interview by Laura Simpson, October 2014

Performance for this artist is a journey for herself as much as for those watching. Lerato Shadi explores assumptions about the (black) female body and how performance creates a stage to make the body both visible and invisible. Using time, repetitive actions as well as stillness, she questions ‘How does one create oneself?’. Seipone, meaning mirror in Tswana, reflected on whether you can lose your past and who is in charge of one’s own history. Makhuba, translated as ‘to wave/paddle’, will question whether one can project a different future for oneself, and how in our imaginations we all live very different lives.

Friday 12 December, 6.30 

Lerato Shadi in conversation with Hansi Momodu-Gordon, 6.30pm  

An In Conversation with Hansi Momodu-Gordon, Assistant Curator, Tate Modern, followed by a reception will take place on 12 December from 6.30 pm in Rivington Place’s main exhibition space on the ground floor to discuss Shadi’s practice and new performance.


Lerato Shadi lives and works in Berlin and Johannesburg. She completed a BFA in Fine Art from the University of Johannesburg. In 2008 she was a featured artist in Art South Africa magazine, and in 2009 she was included in The Generational: ‘Younger Than Jesus artists-directory’ published by the New Museum, New York. In 2010 she was awarded a Pro Helvetia residency in Bern, Switzerland. In the same year, she had her solo exhibition Mosako Wa Seipone at GoetheonMain in Johannesburg. From 2010 to 2012 she was a member of the Bag Factory artist studios in Fordsburg, Johannesburg. In 2012 her work was featured at the Dak’art Biennale in Dakar, Senegal and in the III Moscow International Biennale. She is a fellow of Sommerakademie 2013 (Zentrum Paul Klee) and completed in the same year a residency program by invitation of INIVA at Hospitalfield in partnership with ROSL. In 2014 she was awarded the mart stam studio grant. Currently, she is doing her MFA at the Kunsthochschule Berlin Weissensee (GER)



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