August 29, 2020 - August 29, 2020

RMB TAF Talk: Woven, Envisioning the World Through Textile

South Africa has an immensely rich history of tactile arts – from beadwork to embroidery, leatherwork, quilts and blanket making to doilies and the weaving of baskets with telephone wires to the ability to decorate with ordinary steel pins. The exhibition is interested in how contemporary artists are using the language of these everyday tactilities to question a range of social issues that affect them as individuals and a world which seems perched on a precarious edge. 
Join us for Tactile Visions dialogue with Reshma Chhiba (Visual Artist and Dancer), Willemien de Villiers (Visual Artist and Writer) & Mary Sibande (Visual Artist), moderated by Sharlene Khan (Visual Artist and Scholar).

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Mary Sibande is a Johannesburg-based artist whose, accomplishments include the 2017 Smithsonian National Museum of African Arts Award; the 2013 Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Visual Arts; the Virginia C. Gildersleeve Professorship at Barnard College at Columbia University in New York (from 2018-2019); the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship in Washington, D.C (2011); and the Cite des Arts International Residency in Paris, France (2006). Selected solo exhibitions include I came apart at the seams, at Somerset House in London, UK (2019) and Long Live the Dead Queen at the MAC/VAL Musée d’Art Contemporain di Val-de-Marne in Paris (2013). Group exhibitions include the 14th Curitiba Biennale in Brazil and the Havana Biennale (both in 2019); and Narratives in Contemporary South African Art at the 54th Venice Biennale, as part of the South African Pavilion (2011).

Reshma Chhiba is a visual artist and dancer based in Johannesburg, who is interested in the intersection between contemporary visual art and classical Indian dance practices in South Africa. Through obsessive encounters with the goddess Kali, she aims to blur the lines between the mythological/real, feminine/masculine, Indian/Black, performed/painted, and transcendent/physical.


Born in Pretoria in 1957, Willemien de Villiers, holds a BA(FA) from the University of Pretoria (1977). De Villiers is a multi-disciplinary artist who mainly uses needle and thread to create visual narratives that explore current feminist themes.


Sharlene Khan is a South African visual artist whose multi-media works focus on the socio-political realities of a post-apartheid society and the intersectionality of race-gender-class-ethnicity. She was a recipient of the Rockefeller Bellagio Visual Arts residency (2009), the African Humanities Post-doctoral Fellowship (2017), the NIHSS Award for Visual Arts (2018) and was runner-up winner in the Videokunst Preis Bremen video art award (2015). She is co-convenor of the annual African Feminisms (Afems) Conference and runs the Art on our Mind Research Project. She holds a PhD (Arts) from Goldsmiths and is currently Associate Professor at the Department of Fine Arts, Wits School of the Arts.

​​​​​​​Image: Shallow Grave (2018) by Willemien de Villiers