Malcolm Payne

Artist, introduces himself : 

" I am presently Associate Professor in Fine Art at the University of Cape Town. My work from 1987 to 1994 was preoccupied with notions of post-coloniality and meaning, in particular with understanding ancient African artifacts/masks from South Africaóthe Lydenburg Heads, in particular, which are masks like terracottas, dated plus minus 600 AD. My more recent work still relates to aspects of masks but in a broader context to include images of walls as objects that " mask " and are also analogous to " face ". Some of these works use video installation. Much of my work centrally concerns displacing stereotypical readings of Africa, and " culture " as an ideological construction. The primary theme running through all my work over the years has been " identity ". This is understandable living in South Africa through apartheid and its devastating racial policy, which now has come to an end. "
Giving a Brief description of his work for Johannesburg Biennaleó1997, Malcolm Payne adds :
" As discussed the work consists as large scale laser disc video projections (±5.5 x 3.5metres) with multi-track sound. The work scrutinises transference systems associated with the reproduction of cultureóin particular how identity as the producer of culture is ingrained by generational desire for self-replication through cultural markers. The work acts to kick to pieces notions of culture, ideology, identity, history, mythology, etc. The image makes use of advertising film aesthetics. It resists art-historicalóart-critical references. The iconic allusion forming the backdrop for this enunciation is a brick wall. A series of sequences records repetitive sets of interactions between a small child attempting to build a wall of bricks, which progressively block out or brick up the screen and an adult who suddenly enters the frame (shot at child height) advancing towards the structure and proceeding to kick it apart while loudly bellowing three-word statements, like for example: 'Lose your history', etc. "
Recent exhibitions & solo
46th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy. June to October 1995.
Face Value: old heads in modern masks. A visual, archaeological and historical interpretation of the Lydenburg heads. South African National Gallery, Cape Town, Nov. 1993 to Jan. 1994.
Market Forces. The Long Cell, Breakwater Prison, Breakwater Campus, Cape Town, June 1992, etc.

Recent exhibitions & group

Global Conceptualism/Local Contexts. Queens Museum, New York, USA.
Video installation, performance and screenprints. (FORTHCOMING)
Alternating Currents. Johannesburg Biennale, Johannesburg, October 1997. Video installation.
Image and Form: prints drawing and sculpture from Southern Africa and Nigeria. Brunei Gallery, School of Oriental and African Studies, London University, London, England. Also at the Edinburgh College of Art.
Arborescence sud-africaine. Des artistes en fin de siècle Nantes, France, October 1997. Video installation.
30 Minutes. Robben Island Museum, Interview Block, Robben Island, August 1997. Video installation
Fault lines: inquiries into truth and reconcilliation. Cape Town Castle, June 1996.
Panoramas of Passage: Changing Landscapes of South Africa. Meridian Cafritz Galleries, Washington DC. etc.
Malcolm Payne is also the winner of many awards and has been selected at various occasions to represent South African art : In 1995, he was selected by the Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology to represent South Africa at the 46th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy. And, in 1993, he was invited to exhibit at the at the 45th Venice Biennale in the South African parallel exhibition, Incroci del Sud ó Affinities, Venice, Italy, 9 June to 10 October 1993, and Sala Uno, Rome, Italy. 15 October to mid December...



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