A Golden Spike

Online viewing room

ruby onyinyechi amanze, Nolan Oswald Dennis, David Goldblatt, Haroon Gunn-Salie & Aline Xavier, Alfredo Jaar, Kiluanji Kia Henda, William Kentridge, Kapwani Kiwanga, Tabita Rezaire, Yinka Shonibare CBE and Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum.

Kapwani Kiwanga 

115485

Vumbi, 2012

Film with color and sound

31 minutes

Edition of 3

During the dry season, rural Tanzania is covered in a blanket of red dust which produces a myriad of monochromatic landscapes. For the video Vumbi, which means dust in kiswahili, Kapwani Kiwanga cleans away dust from foliage. ‘It questions how we look at land, particularly when our gaze is towards whatever gains might be had, questions of ownership and power struggles over land itself.’ Kiwanga wipes each leaf in a redundant attempt to overpower the natural environment, for the foliage will quickly be buried under a new layer of dust.

Audio description

00:00 / 00:37
Alfredo Jaar Gold in the Morning B wall.

Alfredo Jaar

122108

Gold in the Morning B, 1985

Lightbox with color transparency

102 x 153 x 15 cm

Edition of 1

Audio description

00:00 / 00:49

Alfredo Jaar's series of lightbox photographs Gold in the Morning depict the Serra Pelada opencast mine. The pit, dug by human hands, is the result of a massive influx of over 80,000 self-employed miners to a remote part of north eastern Brazil. In 1985, Jaar travelled to Serra Pelada, and over the course of weeks, he documented the miners and their work. In giving ‘visibility to those our world denies it to’, Jaar invites us to examine the social, cultural and political motivations for their labour. This illuminated photograph unveils the ecological and human demand of the industrialised world and gives faces to the hidden workers that supply it. 

1Haroon Gunn Salie Aline Xavier Agridoce

Haroon Gunn-Salie and Aline Xavier

124200

Agridoce I, 2016

Matt lightjet and diasec

39.6 x 59.4 cm

Edition of 6

 

124212

Agridoce III, 2016

Matt lightjet and diasec

39.6 x 59.4 cm

Edition of 6

Audio description

00:00 / 00:43

Agridoce I and Agridoce III (meaning 'Bittersweet') are from a series by Haroon Gunn Salie and Aline Xavier which explore the land and people directly affected by the environmental disaster in Mariana, Brazil in 2015. An iron ore tailings dam in Minas Gerais collapsed, resulting in toxic flooding that destroyed the village of Bento Rodrigues and killed 19 people. The project is in collaboration with locals who had their properties flooded with layers of mud and toxic heavy metals. In the photographs death, as well as the destruction of real estate and of the region’s ecosystem are the aftermath of the accident.

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Yinka Shonibare CBE

134295

Planets in my Head, Young Geologist, 2019 

Fibreglass mannequin, Dutch wax

printed cotton textile, globe, brass,

steel baseplate, tripod, theodolite.

120 x 107 x 73 cm 

Audio description

00:00 / 00:48

Planets in My Head, Young Geologist is from a series of sculptures by Yinka Shonibare CBE set against the current context of global anxiety about the planet. The sculptures all incorporate a globe-like form in the position of a head, which ties into the idea of breaking with traditional and established Western canons of knowledge. This concept is illustrated using the figure of children in the sculptures, who all bear Western tools which subvert our ideas around a European-inspired understanding of the world. These figures have seemingly departed Earth, entering other galaxies where they may resist the formalisation of knowledge that the West has set up. In turn, the sculptures re- imagine our dominant bodies of knowledge to create a new globalised perspective. 

Tabita Rezaire 

118703

Deep Down Tidal, 2017

HD video

Length: 19 Minutes

Edition of 3

Deep Down Tidal by Tabita Rezaire explores transcoceanic networks and the political and technological significance of water for communication. As modern information and communication technologies (ICT) become omnipresent in Western lifestyles Rezaire examines the cultural, political and environmental forces that have shaped them. Looking at the infrastructure of submarine fibre optic cables that carry and transfer our digital data, Rezaire unveils how cables follow colonial shipping routes. The seabed becomes the site of celebrated advancements, yet it masks violent deeds of modernity. Deep Down Tidal navigates the ocean as a graveyard for Black knowledge and technologies. From Atlantis, to the ‘Middle passage’, or refuge seekers presently drowning in the Mediterranean, the ocean abyss carries pains, lost histories and memories while simultaneously providing the global infrastructure for our current telecommunications. 

Audio description

00:00 / 01:03
ruby amanze you looked for a beginning b

ruby onyinyechi amanze

128016

you looked for a beginning but there was none, 2019

Photo transfers, ink, graphite

106.7 x 152.4 cm

Audio description

00:00 / 00:46

you looked for a beginning but there was none by ruby onyinyechi amanze is one of the artist’s mixed-media drawings of imaginary places and constructed spaces include a unique cast of characters float, dance, stretch, embrace or otherwise interact with nature and each other. amanze’s body of work establishes an introspective dialogue and personal quest in an attempt to materialise her experience of displacement and dislocation. The motifs and symbols of amanze’s works create non-linear narratives which articulate and delve into ideas surrounding free play as an act of revolution and post-colonial, non-nationalism as an accepted norm in western societies.

David Goldblatt wall.jpg

David Goldblatt

65120

Tailings dump after reclamation, Owendale Asbestos Mine, Northern Cape. 24 December 2007 (4_A0223), 2007

Digital print in pigment inks on cotton rag paper

112 x 134.5 cm

Edition of 10

Audio description

00:00 / 00:45

Tailings dump after reclamation, Owendale Asbestos Mine, Northern Cape. 24 December 2007 by David Goldblatt explores the toxic destruction from mines in South Africa and their human impact. This work is from a mini-essay ‘Asbestos’ within a larger body of work titled ‘Intersections’ in which Goldblatt depicts the damage suffered by humans and countryside in a land whose people have had to reorient themselves entirely following the demise of apartheid. The ‘Asbestos’ works look specifically at the damage wrought by asbestos mining, decades after the mines closed the lethal material remains.

William Kentridge wall.jpg

William Kentridge 

135943

Drawing for City Deep (Zama Zama Pits), 2019

Charcoal and red pencil on paper

103.5 x 152 cm

Audio description

00:00 / 01:04

Drawing for City Deep (Zama Zama Pits) is a charcoal and red pencil drawing made as part of William Kentridge’s film City Deep (2020), his eleventh from the Soho Chronicles series. Continuing on themes found throughout the body of work, but particularly in Kentridge’s 1991 film Mine, this work explores the mining history of Johannesburg and its impact on the city. The landscape depicted in the drawing is of ‘Zama Zama pits’ - abandoned and ownerless mines - worked illegally by ‘Zama Zamas’ (which translates from Zulu to mean ‘take a chance’ or ‘try your luck’). Large open scars on the landscape, drawn without the surrounding machinery found in industrial mines, shows the damage to land done long before informal miners arrive. Within the film ‘City Deep’ Kentridge situates the landscape and its informal miners in artworks at the Johannesburg Art Gallery, itself built during the gold mining heyday of Johannesburg, and contextualising the mining trade within the history of the city.

Kiluanji Kia Henda wall.jpg

Kiluanji Kia Henda

136951

Mare Nostrum (Black Birds), 2019/2020

Assemblage of 53 inkjet prints on fine art papers

264.5 x 403 cm

Edition of 5

Audio description

00:00 / 00:50

Kiluanji Kia Henda’s work Mare Nostrum (Black Birds) is a composition of photographic images taken from the salt pans of Arles on the French Riviera in Provence. Historically the Mediterranean is a site of development for civilizations and solidarity between different populations, but also a space of death and disappearance. In this work, the crystalline transparency of the salt pans is contrasted by black shapes that interrupt the white salt and allude to the stories of those who try to cross the Mediterranean towards Europe. The title ‘Mare Nostrum’ translates from Latin into ‘Our Sea’ and is the term used by Romans for the Mediterranean denoting it as a historic site of racial, commercial and military control; a state that has returned in recent years. 

Nolan Oswald Dennis wall.jpg

Nolan Oswald Dennis

123212

After-Land (Fall), 2018

Ink, letratag label, silicon tube and aluminium tape on paper

100 x 70 cm

Audio description

00:00 / 01:04

The ‘Afters’ series of drawings by Nolan Oswald Dennis maps entangled and bodily relations to African time and space. The ‘Afters’ series asks the question: what comes after the world, what comes after the land; and finds answers in the interior of the body, where the entanglement of cosmic mythology, political fantasy, decolonial metaphysics, dream notations, blood microscopy, comic book conventions, neuro-ganglia and anatomical drawings. After-land (Fall) explores the after-life of political fantasy(s) through an imaginary entanglement of forces at the site of the body. Which is to ask: what does the fall-out of our ongoing social and political crisis mean at the level of the body. The body in these drawings is not a coherent unified subject but a fragmented and sampled synecdoche for the body at multiple scales - microscopic , psychological, spiritual, medical, social and cosmic. 

Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum, Chromatograph

Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum

136579

Chromatograph, 2013

Mixed media on paper

99 x 70 cm

Audio description

00:00 / 00:30

In the work Chromatograph, Sunstrum investigates her interest in the volcano as a psychologically heavy visual symbol and thinks about the volcano as a narrative device. The artist recalls the storyline from Jules Verne’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth, in which a group of radical geologists adventure into the bottom of the earth and discover another earth under our earth. The only way to access this second earth is through a volcano.

Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum 

137056

Polyhedra, 2016

Single channel animation with sound

Length: 1min 36s

Edition of 7

The animation POLYHEDRA by Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum was created as part of a body of work that also included drawings on paper, drawings in space, and sculptural objects. Sunstrum began with the idea of ‘seeing through’ - seeing through the earth, bodies, stars- using a visual language that superimposes geological, astronomical and human forms in order to see the congruencies between them. The animation contains references to early understandings of mathematics and star mapping, and superimposes mythological characters into celestial bodies through the sky. The animation also includes archival photographs and plates by 18th century pioneer volcano photographer, Tempest Anderson. Sunstrum writes: ‘The body of a volcano becomes a portal through which we might glimpse the inner workings of the earth. That those inner workings present themselves as so powerfully destructive made me recall notions of beauty and the sublime.’

Audio description

00:00 / 01:05