cape listings

Suspension of Disbelief

Various Artists
Suspension of Disbelief, 2015. Exhibition Invitation .

'Suspension of Disbelief'

Various Artists at Brundyn

'I am an avid reader and follower of science fiction - and at times speculative fiction - narratives about forays into and encounters with the future - other worlds, other times and places, parallel universes, episodes of time travellers in far and distant places in time and space, utopian and utopian visions, about better worlds, more just societies, those aspiring to be, or nightmarish worlds and societies, fuelled by social commentary, adventure and desire to see something different.'

(Sandra Jackson in Black Bodies and the Representation of Blackness in Imagined Futures)

Brundyn+ will showcase 'Suspension of Disbelief', an exhibition of video artworks by John Akomfrah, Jude Anogwih, Anthea Moys, Andrew Huang, Sofia Carrillo, Thuli Gamedze and Heinrich Minnie.

'Suspension of Disbelief' is an exploration of speculative fiction in video art. The exhibition investigates the construction of imaginary spaces and alternative realities as a way of making autobiographical, philosophical and sometimes political statements. It is an avenue to engage with videos that exist outside of the constrictive realm of so-called reality. The artists make use of and reference to numerous genres and themes that include fairy tale, fantasy, projecting the future, (science) fiction, reimagined and deconstructed histories and memories, the use of mythology and the supernatural.

'Suspension of disbelief' is a term that explains the common understanding between producer and consumer, where the producer employs an imaginary, unrealistic and implausible act to accentuate a particular point in a work of fiction. Given the use of semiotics in the fiction genre, the audience immediately understands the symbolism and accept the inconceivability of the scene, thus suspending their disbelief.

In 'Peripeteia', John Akomfrah takes as his starting point two historic portraits of a black man and a black woman by the sixteenth century German painter Albrecht Dürer. Akomfrah creates identities for the two protagonists that they were historically denied. Peripeteia thus reflects the postcolonial strategy of questioning recorded history through fictionalising and appropriating it.

Thuli Gamedze mediates on a serendipitous relationship she has with a family of wasps that reside in her home. She mentally records, almost daily, the movements of the wasps, paying particular attention to the banality of their everyday, and in turn, her own daily activities. I knew they were leaving, I just had no idea it would be so soon unfolds as a narrative about deconstruction of the familiar, love, (imaginary/real) companionship, time and ultimately, loss.

Similarly, Jude Anogwih investigates the collapse of a given object into its simplest form. In 'Simultaneity', he refers to the notion of Orphism, a derivative of cubism wherein the subject matter is broken down until it reaches ultimate abstraction; which in this instance is characterised by light. Heinrich Minnie deconstructs the myth of the African city by creating a personified imaginary city (the Urban Body), one that feels, contemplates and moves swiftly in between the cityscape while it searches for answers about how to be in and relate to the city.

Anthea Moys’ continues in her comical, playful and nonsensical performative motif. In 'Snow Swimming', she further considers accidental and intentional play and the tensions that lie within. By swimming through snow on a Swiss mountain after an unfortunate incident, Moys makes use of the otherwise serious scenario to transgress social boundaries.

In 'Solipsist', Andrew Huang experiments with the collision of vivid colour to create a trancelike and psychedelic imaginary world filled with overly stimulating bouts of colour and otherworldly creature. The connectivity between the subjects and the objects transgress the notion of solipsism, which is the belief that only the self and one’s own mind exist, and anything existing outside of the self is imagined and cannot be proven to be present.

In 'La Casa Triste', Sofia Carrillo brings to life a number of discarded objects that she purchased from a second hand shop. Through these deserted objects, she constructs a melancholy story, one that is both autobiographical but concurrently exaggerated to fit the magical realism inherent in making inanimate objects speak, bleed, give birth and ultimately die. Carrillo continues her surreal otherworldly narrative in Prita Noire (Black Doll), where a doll-like creature’s relationship with her sister is narrated.

19 February - 18 April

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