Monday, January 31, 2011

The Hollard Creative Exchange Programme in collaboration with the AVA Gallery

This project was sponsored by Hollard Corporate through “The Hollard creative exchange programme”, facilitated by “The Spier art academy and Jeanetta Blignaut Art consultancy”. it was a year exchange programme with work in studio and research, between Cape Town and Johannesburg which ends up in a touring solo exhibitions, called “Notre Peau” (a metaphor for African response to the New technology). The first exhibition in Cape Town was realized at the Association for Visual Art, the AVA Gallery (opening on 24th January 2011). The second part will be at Villa Arcadia, the Hollard Campus in JHB (Date to be confirmed). The project looked at African countries as reliance to mining and technological revolution but also to at the vulnerability to low wage labour.

Title of the project: “Notre Peau”


This body of work is a personal exploration of the technical revolution that has greatly impacted on many African countries. In my country, the Democratic Republic Congo (DRC), the reliance on mining for natural resources for instance, has made its people vulnerable to low-wage labour abuse, as well as a range of issues beyond their control, dictated by international economic markets. This has had a devastating impact on the country’s cultural and environmental diversity.
In asking myself how as a visual artist I could portray my fascinations, hopes and apprehensions on the subject, I began to obsessively collect found electronic remnants of this rapidly developing technology. The resultant mixed media drawings and sculptures ask questions such as to whom such technological resources are made available and at what or whose expense? What are the consequences impacting on our people and environment?
The title of my exhibition “Notre Peau” (translated as “Our Skin”) is a metaphor used to illustrate a distinctly African response to the various impacts of technology on the continent. While exposed to the elements and easily injured, skin can also be described as extraordinarily resilient. It is able to regenerate and repair itself, and change in colour or shade to adapt to its environment.
While working with found objects, I feel exposed to the danger of its effects and I tend to sympathize with people who are on the daily basis systematically exposed to toxic metals in the air.
According to sources, the total e-waste generated is dramatically increasing. This is projected to double in 2012. In 2006, the quantity of e-waste generated by some big cities worldwide had already risen. Most e-waste ends up in poor and unorganized sectors, where labourers with no training and protection dismantle products, often with their bare hands, with the aim of reselling the components.
In the discourse of technologic revolution, and the way the contemporary world has being globalised; it will be foolish to ignore a strong contribution of technology in our daily lives. To reject such endeavours would be unreasonable and go against global businesses and preclude the flow of ideas and knowledge. Thus the dilemma seems a vicious circle and only getting worse.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The AVA in partnership with Spier

Solo Exhibition at the AVA Gallery at 6 pm
Monday, 24 January 2011
Exhibition Closes on Friday, 18 February 2011 at 1 pm


The show was sponsored by Hollard corporate it is a"Hollard Creative Exhange
Programme", the show is a tour exhibition which will go to Villa Arcadia at the Hollard Campus, Parktown, Johannesburg (date to be confirmed)

At AVA Gallery,Maurice Mbikayi employs the Long gallery with "Notre Peau" (Our Skin). Mbikayi investigates the effects of technology on identity and history whilst unpacking the various ways in which the technological revolution has both positively and negatively impacted on Africa. Evocative portraits are created out of discarded technology; computer matter becomes skin as cell phones become hearts.
Association for Visual Arts Gallery
35 Church Street, Cape Town, South Africa
Gallery hours: Weekdays 10h00 to 17h00,
Saturdays 10h00 to 13h00
Phone: +27-21 424-7436,
Fax: +27-21 423-2637,

Wine at the opening is kindly sponsored by Spier