Blowing in the Wind - An Exhibition about Dreams and Disasters
2015 began with a series of international tragedies which remind us that intolerance, fanaticism, and violence are pervading our world. Very little has changed from the 1960s when there was a strong movement in cultural manifestations towards creating a more peaceful and tolerant society. 2 sets of lyrics from the 1960s say it all.
These are Blowin’ in the Wind by Bob Dylan and Imagine by John Lennon. The curatorial intention of this exhibition was to revisit these lyrics in the light of a half-century where scant progress has been made - we still make the same mistakes and dream the same dreams.
Several works on 'Blowing in the Wind' deal with environmental and human exploitation issues including those surrounding the cornerstone of our country’s material wealth – the mining industry.
William Kentridge, Jeanette Unite, Mary Wafer, Mthobisi Maphumulo are some of the artists working in this context. The prevalence of crime cannot be ignored and an installation by Andrea Walters reminds us of the media hype and frenzy around the Oscar Pistorius case. There is, throughout the exhibition, a reminder of how people flock together in various situations where a critical mass can sway events. Vuli Nyoni’s fragile banners showing a murmuration of swallows and Icarus have many layers of meaning which tie the exhibition together. The exhibition showed both new work and historic work, with other artists including Bongani Khanyile, Wonder Mbambo, Fran Saunders, Derrick Nxumalo, Paul Botes, Siobhan O’Reagain, Lerato Shadi, Akiko Nakaji and the portfolio of ‘Images of Human Rights’.