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At The Art Institute | In All His Wildest Dreams

"While installing his exhibition Kemang Wa Lehulere: In All My WIldest Dreams at the Art Institute (on view until January 16), the South African artist took a few moments to discuss his work and process.

"This 'focus' exhibition is the first American museum show devoted to his work. Internationally recognized for his masterful conflation of personal and collective storytelling, Wa Lehulere reenacts what he calls 'deleted scenes' from South African history, often animating individual narratives of exile or displacement through means that are ephemeral, found, and notational - chalk drawings on blackboard surfaces, intense but short-lived performances, salvaged wood from old school desks, sketchbook pages, letters written to friends, strangers, and public institutions - as if to suggest the gallery as a fantastical, crucially temporary classroom.

"'History continually disappears,' Wa Lehulere has said. 'It comes and goes. It is not something fixed; it is malleable . . . It is the elasticity of history that excites me.'

"At the same time, he describes his work as a 'protest against forgetting;' history is constructed, and memory is fragile."


See also:
* New York Times: South Africa's Rising Art Star Builds His New Stage in Chicago.



Artist Talk, 2012.


Comments welcome.


Posted on January 3, 2017

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