In a time of delicate and tenuous change, we cannot ignore our country’s longstanding history shaped by the influence of governing power, bureaucracy and justice. With the birth of democracy in 1994 and its growth from infancy to young adulthood, the footprints of struggling years before are further engraved into its core structure.
Despite those whom have so valiantly upheld the spirit of Ubuntu, we are still confronted with hypocrisy, ill bureaucratic practices, methods of exclusion or favouritism and a skewed idea of a fair judicial system.
Eclectica Contemporary is proud to be hosting A solo exhibition featuring South African Artist, Mpumelelo “Layziehound” Coka titled, Not a judge, not a saint.
Who are we to judge and on what grounds are we as individuals judged, when neither one of us are without sin? That is the question Layzihound Coka overtly confronts us with.
The South African artist who was born in Bilanyoni, Northen KwaZulu Natal, his homeland and educational foundation, participated in a radical shift to art-making during 2003, leaving him to quit engineering and participate in numerous group and solo exhibitions with a focus in print-making. It is within this shift that Layziehound renounces strict principles and modes of thinking to explore an area that harbours grounds rooted in the premise of rejecting preconceived standards and boundaries.
Not a judge, not a saint, a “neither-nor” statement with a slightly deceiving sense of neutralism reveals the ease at which we dissociate ourselves from the judgements we make. He questions the power trajectories prevalent in society, be they religious and socio-political ideologies or those whom uphold them. His large, gestural body of work, predominantly in black and white, expresses a turbulent experience of conflict when tackling the so-called moral compass the artist and those of us alike are taught to live by.
Each artwork addresses structures of leadership, division of class and a growing generational divide through the motif of the suit or suit-wearer. The fragmented images not only serve to obscure visual reception but also allude to the obscurities prevalent in a precarious socio-economic environment.
Layziehound reveals the incisions and scorched patches, the areas of imperfection as a result of continuous enforcement of idealized beliefs. So again we capitalize his question, “who are we to judge and on what grounds are we as individuals judged, when neither one of us is without sin?”