Sharlene Khan’s Other stories at Gallery Momo
Sharlene Khan’s Other Stories opens at Gallery Momo on Thursday 31 March @ 18h30 – 20h00 and concludes on 30 April. The press release gives a background to her work on this show:
People who sell wares are seen daily as they approach our cars at traffic lights hawking cheap wares, but little do we know about these people who come from various African countries. Shockingly many of them tertiary educated, forced to migrate to South Africa in the face of debilitating economic conditions back home in Zimbabwe, Malawi, the Congo, Sudan. Who are they? What are their hopes, their dreams for their families? Where do they see themselves in five years time? What stories do they have to share if they were asked? Khan conducted a series of interviews with such persons and asked them questions about their working conditions, how South Africans reacted to them, what were their hopes and dreams for their children and families back home. These interviews were transcribed and painted onto canvases over which images of the street traders were then drawn onto and finally embroidered. The first four artworks of the series were executed before the May 2008 xenophobic attacks erupted in townships around Johannesburg. The second four artworks were done after May 2008 and have an additionally embroidered layer which depicts the empty streets as immigrants fled South Africa during May and August 2008. The last four paintings in this series depict the return of the migrants to vending around Johannesburg, despite the continued threats of xenophobia they are faced with.
Visit the gallery at 52 Seventh Avenue, Parktown North. 011 327 3247
American guests at Liz at Lancaster are fascinated by the level of social engagement of Joburg based artists. They have been enjoying the challenge that some of our art throws up.