Misheck Masamvu 

NIRIN - 22nd Sydney Biennale

Online viewing room

April 16 to May 7, 2020

Still 

 

For his installation at Campbelltown Art Centre, Masamvu worked on a set of seven drawings which were in dialogue with his poem Still. The drawings depict the hybridization of a human body with different organic forms. Masamvu has left a mass of white space behind the figures, who float within it. This gives the drawings a sense of timelessness, we are not sure at what point of metamorphosis the bodies are in and how long this process will take, but we know it is important. 

 

The figures appear to be dying but there is a sense of regeneration, of re-creation within the act of dying itself so that they exist as an anti-dote to the dreadful stagnation depicted in the poem Still.  In Still a voice lists a series of circumstances. Each circumstance is preceded by the word Still, suggesting that the person listing these circumstances, whether they be tragic (Still holding the wound), bureaucratic (Still standing in the queue) or emotional (Still loving n’ hating) is trapped within a never ending cycle. Much of the poem deals with systems of control and the inequality and violence these systems breed. For example one line reads “Still running away from the police” while another reads “Still unpaid”. 

 

In contrast with the poem, the transformation the figures in the drawings undergo stands as testament to Masamvu’s continued belief in the redemptive ability of nature, to which we must return. 

Still crying in the rain

Still hiding pregnancies

Still holding the wound

Still hiding the scar

Still waiting

Still burying evidence

Still running away from the police

Still pointing at failing states

Still in prison

Still filling the potholes

Still standing in the queue

Still border jumping

Still Flipping channels

Still under the knife

Still unpaid

Still Still

Still masturbating

Still evading tax

Still oppressed

Still hungry

Still loving n’ hating

Still rockin’ second hand

Still stuck

Still unemployed

Still vending

Still resentful

Still on drugs

Still at mom’s house

Still on the toilet seat

Still hearing voices

Still asking ‘Hanziyi?’

Still revolting

Still in darkness

Still a hypocrite

Still hammered

Still losing

Still ignoring you

Still back biting

Still seeking asylum

Still digging trenches

Still under the spell

Still hurting

Still bitching

Still leeching

Still chewing cud

Still uncertain

Still in a bubble

Still on death bed

Still Still

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Misheck Masamvu

135839

Pegged, 2019

Oil on paper

40.5 x 30 cm

US $2 200

Quoted prices are exclusive of taxes,

custom duties and shipping costs

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Misheck Masamvu

135840

Border Dispute2019

Oil on paper

40.5 x 30 cm

US $2 200

Quoted prices are exclusive of taxes,

custom duties and shipping costs

FJP_10DEC19_IV_FullSize_sRGB.jpg

Misheck Masamvu

135841

Table Cloth, 2019

Oil on paper

40.5 x 30 cm

US $2 200

Quoted prices are exclusive of taxes,

custom duties and shipping costs

FJP_10DEC19_V_FullSize_sRGB.jpg

Misheck Masamvu

135842

No Ants, 2019

Oil on paper

40.5 x 30 cm

US $2 200

Quoted prices are exclusive of taxes,

custom duties and shipping costs

FJP_10DEC19_VII_FullSize_sRGB.jpg

Misheck Masamvu

135843

Food Tree, 2019

Oil on paper

40.5 x 30 cm

US $2 200

Quoted prices are exclusive of taxes,

custom duties and shipping costs

FJP_10DEC19_VI_FullSize_sRGB.jpg

Misheck Masamvu

135844

No Need for Voices, 2019

Oil on paper

40.5 x 30 cm

US $2 200

Quoted prices are exclusive of taxes,

custom duties and shipping costs

FJP_10DEC19_I_FullSize_sRGB.jpg

Misheck Masamvu

135845

Smoke Signal, 2019

Oil on paper

40.5 x 30 cm

US $2 200

Quoted prices are exclusive of taxes,

custom duties and shipping costs