• 00:01 Can we see history as good omen?
  • 05:51 My work is a space of conversations
  • 07:33 A 5 year old in front of the mirror. Negotiation and endurance
  • 12:01 Colonial history and identity as a start
  • 14:52 Living sculptures
  • 19:00 Conversations with monuments: erased and omitted histories
  • 20:55 Sites of inquiry
  • 28:07 Temporary monuments
  • 36:05 I'm ok with decay, i'm ok with the work shifting
  • 42:35 The Castle of good hope, in Cape Town: a history very fertile with violence
  • 50:25 Hair, mirrors and furniture: materials that speak
  • 57:30 Burning flames: materials are also alive
  • 66:40 Knowledge as an ever-changing thing
  • 73:05 Sueños, ascendencia y arte
29/03/2023 77' 39''
Sethembile Msezane "I grow tired telling you they are already here II", 2018

Working from the foundations of historical narrative and its constructs, African knowledge systems, and a contemporary take on colonial wounds, South African artist Sethembile Msezane (KwaZulu Natal, 1991) has an interdisciplinary practice that goes beyond critique. Her work suggests the possibility of generating new spaces that invite reflection and pave the way for other conversations. Msezane’s works question and negotiate the presence and absence of the black female body in the history of South Africa, and the political conflict involved in its representation—a trace of a colonised people—in public and private space. Gestures that persist—in the form of living sculptures, or embodiments, as she prefers to call them—and a certain predilection for ephemeral materials that stem from an interpretation of cosmology and history that seeks to create spaces of conversation and healing in dialogue with the great beyond and also with the ground beneath our feet and with the more-than-human. 

In this podcast, Sethembile Msezane talks about her rejection of modern throwaway culture, convinced that the history and experiences of ancestors contain clues and know-how that allow us to imagine different futures. She believes that good omens must enter through spirituality and dialogue with ancestors. Art is simply a tool. 

Conversation: Ricardo Cárdenas, Javiera Cadiz and Anna Ramos. Script: Ricardo Cárdenas. Sound production: André Chêdas. Voice over: Javiera Cadiz.

Image: Sethembile Msezane "I grow tired telling you they are already here II", 2018. Courtesy of the artist

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