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Simphiwe Ndzube

Born 1990 in Hofmeyr (South Africa),
lives and works in Los Angeles (USA) and Cape Town (South Africa)

Simphiwe Ndzube’s hybrid sculptures and pictures interrogate post-colonialism and the history of apartheid. Stretching out in space, their dreamlike political landscapes investigate the origins of a cosmos located between unexplored lands and unnavigable seas, with magic realism a constant influence. For the Biennale, the artist stages a procession with two groups of contrasting sculptures: spiritual people and gravediggers, caught between the fight against exploitation and the urge for change; their clothes are given special attention. The artist continues to tap the themes that haunt his work, while also making connections with the 1786 silk-worker uprising and a much larger one, “la révolte des canuts”, in 1831, which are both landmarks in Lyon’s political and social history.

Simphiwe Ndzube, Journey to Asazi (détail), 2019. Courtesy de l’artiste et [of the artist and] Nicodim Gallery, Bucarest [Bucharest]/Los Angeles ; STEVENSON, Le Cap [Cape Town]/Johannesbourg [Johannesburg]/Amsterdam. © Blaise Adilon