Creative Showcase: 'I Was Born Yesterday' by Michael Taylor
Michael Taylor’s penchant for the seas has yet again provided the perfect backdrop for him to unleash a host of his fantastically imagined characters for a solo exhibition at Whatiftheworld: I Was Born Yesterday. The body of work follows the happenings (and mis-happenings) of stereotyped gentlemen tribes who come together in a spectacular staged race. I Was Born Yesterday is presented in a series of large-scale drawings and installations of paintings – mediums which the Cape Town-based artist enjoys for their immediacy and spontaneity. The preliminary sketches that eventually gave way to each final image pervade the surface as visible traces of movement. The movement of men who, appearing theatrically in a colourful tableaux, are spread out in scenes of “nonsense rituals, uncomfortable teaming, unseemly gestures and small misadventures”. Seen together, the entire collection of work is an “eccentric romp, fictionalising a battle of the male egos and parodying masculine attitudes”.
Latif’s childhood were spent in the idyllic village of Thornton in the UK where he was free to explore and limited only by his own imagination. A far cry from this, he and his family then moved to Tottenham where he experienced a much harsher, darker reality to what he was previously used to. “All in all, my environment has been a tale of two halves, but tales that have allowed me to see and feel the world in my own way. I hope this is in some way apparent in my work,” he says. Currently based in Johannesburg with the plan to create a series on Hillbrow, Inzajeano photographs people (and sometimes landscapes, both urban and natural) with the palette of a Baroque painter. Not purely in the pursuit of an interesting visual story, he’s looking for more than a picture – something that resonates with others in a way that is truthful and lasting.
In August 2012, mineworkers in one of South Africa’s biggest platinum mines began a wildcat strike for better wages. Six days into the strike, the police used live ammunition to suppress the group, killing 34 and injuring 78. The Marikana Commission of Inquiry has been sitting since October 2012 and is due to conclude on September 30. The events that took place and the parties involved present a dark picture of South Africa 20 years after democracy. The documentary, Miners Shot Down, charts the chronology of events leading up to the killings, and presents an alternate narrative to the one being claimed by authorities in power. Without sentimentality or bias, filmmaker and activist Rehad Desai has created a important visual record of this tragic incident, as well as a brutally honest exposé of the power relations and collusion of state and capitalism in post-apartheid ‘democratic’ South Africa.
Cape Town based artist Leigh Tuckniss started painting in 2009 and has seen her work go on to investigate themes of mortality, transition, dreams and the unrecognised moments in the busyness of life. Expanding her profile through a growing portfolio of solo and group exhibitions, her most recent exhibition “Limbo” continued her explorations into a place she calls “the space of nowhere”. Leigh says, “My main objective when painting is to always pay homage to a moment that is fleeting or less important, a moment which often passes many of us by. The movement of a bird’s wings when landing, or a girl’s hair in water, the pleasantness of the sun-kissed fur of a lazy dog as it sleeps, the gait and a posture of an old woman walking down the road, and the curious sadness of a limp dead frog. I enjoy these moments, as it relates to how my mother taught us girls to always appreciate our world as it passes. It’s possibly my rebelliousness to the fast pace of modern life!”
The latest Nando’s television commercial by MetropolitanRepublic is just as cheeky as you’d expect, showing what happens when four ministerial cavalcades try to cross the same intersection at the same time. The minister of ‘Inland Fisheries’, the minister of ‘Stationery’ and two other imaginary ministers are all en route to important meetings when they nearly collide. A street fight almost ensues between their escorts as they argue about who is more important and who should have the right of way. Just before it gets serious, the situation is humorously diffused in a truly South African (and typically Nando’s) way, hinting that this is just another day in SA.