Intended to “put art to work” in its capacity as a mode of inquiry and debate, internationally acclaimed South African artist Moshekwa Langa has been invited to create an installation in dialogue with Encounters: The Arts of Africa, KAM’s new gallery dedicated to its African collection. Using the idea of the biography or life history of African objects as a point of departure, Langa’s installation draws on material(s) from the many places he has called home—Bakenberg, the South African town of his birth, Amsterdam, and Johannesburg—and from his journeys in between.
Known for his introspective, almost insurgent representations of self, space, and identity, Langa’s art is well suited for the kind of critical elaboration envisioned for this project. Working in a range of media including drawing, painting, video, photography, and installation, Langa’s art usually “begins” with the immediacy of his own, deeply personal experiences, but then resonates on multiple levels. Through portraiture, color, script-strewn images, collage-like maps, and imaginary vistas comprised of everyday objects, Langa’s work resists category and loosens the grip that conventional understandings of culture, origin, and place have had on art made by Africans.