Thabiso Sekgala: Here Is Elsewhere28/08/2019 - 06/10/2019
“The idea of home is very complex, and changes depending on who you are and where you come from.” Thabiso Sekgala
This free HENI Project Space exhibition explores home, intimacy, place and belonging in the work of late South African photographer Thabiso Sekgala. Here Is Elsewhere – Sekgala’s first solo exhibition in the UK – brings together 50 photographs from six different series taken between 2009 and 2014 in South Africa, Jordan and Germany.
Many of Sekgala’s photographs – which include portraits, street scenes and elegiac depictions of public and domestic space – offer nuanced, alternative narratives about life in contemporary Africa. Running through all of his work is a fascination with the idea of home, and the personal, political or economic conditions that determine our relationship to it. At the centre of Here Is Elsewhere are photographs from Sekgala’s early, career-defining Homeland (2009 – 2011), a series that saw the artist document life in two former homelands – territories established by the Apartheid government to house black South Africans forced to leave urban areas.
These images are accompanied by photographs from Second Transition (2012), a series that explores the relationship between the area’s platinum mines and the workers who live on the land, as well as Running, Amman (2013) and Paradise (2013), series made during periods spent in Amman and Berlin.
Thabiso Sekgala (b. 1981 in Johannesburg, South Africa) was a photographer whose work explored themes of abandonment, memory, spatial politics and concept of home.
“In photography I am inspired by looking at human experience whether lived or imagined,’ Sekgala once expressed. ‘Images capture our history and who we are, our presence and absence. Growing up in both rural and urban South Africa influences my work. The dualities of these both environments inform the stories I am telling through my photographs, by engaging issues around land, peoples’ movement, identity and the notion of home.” Thabiso Sekgala
He studied at Johannesburg’s Market Photo Workshop from 2007 to 2008 and was awarded the Tierney Fellowship in 2010. The artist held solo exhibitions in South Africa and Europe and has exhibited in group shows internationally, including LagosPhoto Festival (2015), Bamako Biennale (2015) and Les Rencontres D’Arles (2013). In 2013, he was an artist in residence at both the Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, and at HIWAR/Durant Al Funun, Jordan. Sekgala died in Johannesburg in 2014.