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Gabrielle Goliath debuts in US with contemporary Dallas fixtures –



In late August 2019, Owenene Mruityana, a 19-year-old student at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, was brutally raped and murdered. Although there is a country One of the highest rates of rape and femicide In the world (or perhaps because of it), anger spread and thousands of activists and protesters launched the “Am I Next” movement. Within months, the government Declare gender-based violence A national crisis and announced plans to address the issue.

The incident loomed large for South African multidisciplinary artist Gabriel Goliath, who debuted last year. choira Two-channel video and audio installation which serves as an elegy for Mariutana. The 23-minute animated installation depicts the University of Cape Town’s chorus hammering out the lamentations of their late friend and colleague on one screen, while the other remains blank, demonstrating the victims of gender-based violence in South Africa.

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Goliath’s work is in many collections, including the Tate Modern in London, the Kunsthalle Zürich, and the National Gallery of South Africa, among others. Goliath has also won several awards, including the Institut Français Award, the Afrique en Créations Award at the Bamako Biennale in 2017, and the Standard Bank Young Artist Award in 2019.

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later this month, choir It will be shown in contemporary Dallas in what will be the first institutional show of Goliath in the United States. Goliath said ARTnews In a recent interview that though choirIn the South African context, you’d expect American viewers to find “a local and personal resonance” in the work.

“It really is a work that has the potential to move one deeply,” she said. “Enter an experience like choir And the work gets you into the voice. It inhabits you as much as it inhabits it.”

Chorus 1

Gabriel Goliath, choir2021, 2-channel video and audio installation, Goodman Gallery Cape Town

Hayden Phipps

The project is far from being the first Goliath project to deal with victims of gender-based violence or to create opportunities for reflection and dialogue. In 2015, Goliath started Long-term performance projectAnd the lament, which responds similarly to the endemic crisis of femicide in South Africa. For the project, performances took place in South Africa, Brazil, Europe and the United States where seven opera singers sounded lamentations over the course of an hour—and collectively kept a single tune, passing it to each other as they individually installed a light board. Platform. Each performance commemorated a specific woman or LGBTQIA+ individual who experienced fatal acts of sex or sexual violence. Each presentation was accompanied by a eulogy, written by a friend or family member for the topic.

choirwhich Goliath considers “the culmination of the types” of work in it lamentlikewise makes an effort to involve those close to the victim.

After Mruitana’s death, a group of organizations and individuals in South Africa used her name without permission to solicit donations for their causes and projects. It was so widespread that the family Had to threaten legal action to stop this practice. The case informed the approach of Goliath choir.

“So it was doubly important to me to approach them very frankly and to seek their blessing without which the business would have been so seriously endangered,” said Goliath.


Gabriel Goliath, choir2021, 2-channel video and audio installation, Goodman Gallery Cape Town

Hayden Phipps

When you picture Goliath choirI made sure to talk to the family of Mruitana first. She began introducing the concept to Mruitana’s mother “in great detail”. After Mruitana’s mother spends time processing work, she and Uyinene Mrwetyana Foundation They collectively agreed that Goliath create the work.

The practice of immortalizing Goliath comes from a very personal place. On Christmas Eve 1991, her childhood friend Goliath was shot at her home in Kimberley, Northern Cape in what is said to be a “domestic accident”. The experience was traumatic and profoundly affected her practice. In 2010, Goliath produced a photographic series of nineteen brown women as an “alternative presence” for her friend. Berenice; One for every year since her death. I revisited the work this year with a new series of photos for the years that followed.

The common thread through the work of Goliath, from Bernice 10-28, 2010 to me choiris a call for participants to take part in a long and transformative act of mourning and a collective refusal to “deny these lives” as faceless victims, in Goliath’s words.

choir, for example, includes a memorial list in the exhibition space for women, children, and LGBT people who have experienced gender-based violence in South Africa since Mruitana’s death. It is a living document that reflects the ongoing nature of the crisis – last year’s kick-off. choir It contained more than 460 names, while the contemporary Dallas version would have an updated list of more than 670 names.

“The choir is about the community, about the gathering,” Goliath said. “It is not an extraordinary act but one that recognizes that stepping back from the norm of crisis of sexual, racial and patriarchal violence, and perceiving the world differently requires each of us to realize our own involvement in the world of others, and the impact that it has — across difference, across borders, and across our ability to “connect” Indeed, through all that might separate us (and ‘cleanse’ us) in another way.”

Video performance in . format choir It was filmed days before the first shutdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in late March 2020. The timing, according to Goliath, means she has completed work in Johannesburg, where she resides, under “strange and isolated conditions”.

affected by the epidemic choir in other ways. The work was originally supposed to premiere at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, India’s largest art fair, in December 2020, but the show has been postponed due to the pandemic. Instead, the work debuted in Cape Town, which gave Mritana’s status as a student at the University of Cape Town and the role of the university choir in the piece, was “very meaningful,” according to Goliath. The piece will appear at the much-anticipated Biennale in Kochi in December.

Submission Decision choir In contemporary Dallas it is the result of “many conversations” with Emily Edwards, the museum’s assistant curator, according to Goliath. Edwards arrived after hearing about it lament; Goliath said the pandemic has halted initial plans for the fair but also “allowed for a deeper and longer conversation to take place.”

choir It will be shown in contemporary Dallas from September 25 to March 19, 2023.