work on paper
video / audio
to see this story better, close your eyes
Reid Gallery, Glasgow School of Art (2018)
curated by Chloë Reid
An exhibition of film and writing by Thabo Jijana, Jemma Kahn, Kiluanji Kia Henda, Rosa Lyster, Mitchell Gilbert Messina, Njabulo Ndebele, Sean O'Toole, Pravasan Pillay, Chad Rossouw, Penny Siopis, Helen Sullivan and Marianne Thesen Law.

The exhibition title is taken from 'Banana Moon' by Thabo Jijana, 2017.

'To see this story better, close your eyes' gathers the work of twelve artists and writers currently exhibiting and publishing in South Africa. Each of the films, audio recordings and texts featured in the exhibition employ narrative as a technique, subject or medium. The work is deliberately positioned in the gallery to prompt multiple and overlapping readings.

In Kiluanji Kia Henda's film, 'Havemos de Voltar' (We Shall Return), Amélia Capomba, a stuffed sable antelope, plans her escape from the Archive Centre where she refuses to serve as a historical prop. Through found footage, text and music, Penny Siopis' film, 'The New Parthenon' merges the meditations of an ordinary man's modern Greek history of war, globalization and migration. Helen Sullivan's poem, 'Mendi', describes the sinking of the British troopship in 1917 that killed 616 South Africans (most of them black South African troops). In Pravasan Pillay's 'Crooks', sixty-eight year old Kamla reflects on her life as she bathes and washes her adult daughter, Ambi. In 'Death of a Son' by Njabulo Ndebele, a mother narrates the thorny process of grieving the death of her son under the apartheid regime. Thabo Jijana's 'Banana Moon' is apprehensive of the festive character that accompanies a funeral.

Mitchell Gilbert Messina reveals the dark undercurrent of the commercial art world involving the ritual sacrifice of young artists in 'Detective Tales'. Messina and Marianne Thesen Law collaboratively illustrate a clumsy and competitive dialogue of sexual fetish in the film, 'Fantasies Vol. 1'. Sean O'Toole reads 'The Object'. Rosa Lyster delivers the commission, 'The People's Bird'. Chad Rossouw considers the history of the appearance of the parrot in Western Literature, twice, in relation to Jemma Kahn's 'Somebody You've Already Painted Many Times from Memory'. In Kahn's film, actors mimic an interview between David Sylvester and Francis Bacon.
review - The Scotsman
Kiluanji Kia Henda, Havemos de Voltar
Mitchell Messina, Detective Tales
Penny Siopis, New Parthenon
Installation (Messina and Kia Henda)