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Sethembile Msezane

Artist 93

Sethembile Msezane Dreamscaping Performance Art

Sethembile Msezane was born in 1991 in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. She lives and works in Cape Town, South Africa.

Using interdisciplinary practice encompassing performance, photography, film, sculpture and drawing, Msezane creates commanding works heavy with spiritual and political symbolism.

The artist explores issues around spirituality, commemoration and African knowledge systems.

She processes her dreams as a medium through a lens of the plurality of existence across space and time, asking questions about the remembrance of ancestry.

Part of her work has examined the processes of mythmaking which are used to construct history, calling attention to the absence of the black female body in both the narratives and physical spaces of historical commemoration.

Her subjects, she says, come to her in her dreams, touching her spirit, calling to be conjured. She answers in dress and performance, embodying the women or the symbols that choose her.

“In most of my work my identity, my face is concealed and that’s particularly because when I am performing or when I’m making work about another woman, I am in essence taking on their persona. I am connecting with them spiritually.

“I am trying to embody them spiritually by using my body... That’s why I wear a beaded veil.”

She reflects on the social-political surroundings of her country and uses her body to comment on them. Her resistance motifs reflect a country in turbulence.


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