WAITING FOR GEBANE
Red Thread on Kaffir Sheet, 2017
« Marasela is interested in the multiplicity contained within the experience of waiting: in the pathologies of women who are either forced to wait or choose to wait. Njabulo Ndebele’s novel The Cry of Winnie Mandela (2003), which oscillates between fiction and documentary, clearly states this as we peruse the lives of his female characters. In the angst of their wait they begin an imaginary conversation with Winnie Mandela. The latter waited publicly for Nelson Mandela for 27 years and subjected herself to much scrutiny and the dissection of her own privacy. There is a perceptible haunting ache that runs through Waiting for Gebane series that is, nevertheless, difficult to describe. What fascinates me in Marasela’s work is that it addresses and carries out, by way of reenactments, a characteristic feature of contemporary life in Africa: waiting. Perhaps a waiting such as is portrayed in Abderrahmane Sissako’s drama Waiting for Happiness (2002), in which the main character has been away from home for so long – waiting somewhere in the desert to migrate to Europe – that he doesn’t even remember his local language. Marasela adds complexity to the act of waiting and translates it into an affecting visual language charged with political and historical gravity. »
Senzeni Marasela’s work – in media including embroidery, print and video as well as performance – has been widely exhibited in South Africa, Europe and the US. Her work features in prominent local and international collections, including MoMA, New York.
Series: WAITING FOR GEBANE
Image rights: Copyright Senzeni Marasela Courtesy AFRONOVA GALLERY
About SENZENI MTWAKAZI MARASELA
South African, b. 1977, Soweto, Gauteng, South Africa, based in Soweto, Gauteng, South Africa