What Do They Call Me
Ayana V. Jackson | Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum | Florine Demosthene | Patricia Driscoll | Sethembile Msezane | Mary Sibande
Gallery MOMO Johannesburg
15 June – 22 July 2017
What do they call me… my skin is black, my back is strong and my mother’s gone? What do they call me on a winter’s day, when the sun runs cold and my love is tired? What do they call me now that my hair is down, flowing wild in the wind and no longer concealed? What do they call me now that I have looked back, now that I am here and my name is clear.
Gallery MOMO is proud to present What Do They Call Me, a group exhibition of works by Ayana V. Jackson, Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum, Florine Demosthene, Patricia Driscoll, Sethembile Msezane and Mary Sibande. What Do They Call Me examines the allegory of naming and language in relation to Her body, and the positioning of Her name(s) not as a question but as a declaration that is not up for negotiation. Thematically this calls upon the prolific Black American jazz performer Nina Simone’s song Four Women in which she embodies the names of cast type women of color whose identities have been rendered invisible behind the desires and demands of a patriarchal society; a racialised system that continues to revere and revile the female form in one breath, casting women as both mothers and hoe’s, and in that same breath controlling Her rights not only to Her name and identity, but very access to Her body and safety.