Jabulani Dhlamini: Isisekelo
From April 18 to May 11, 2019, Jabulani Dhlamini will hold his fourth solo exhibition titled Isisekelo at Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg. The exhibition features a recent series of photographs taken across the country and continent. Integrating ethnographic and autobiographic approaches to image making, Dhlamini unpacks our subjective relationship to space. Marking a departure for Dhlamini, this work sits between figuration and abstraction which results in images that are both decisive and critical, resisting easy interpretation or categorisation.
Jabulani Dhlamini was born in Warden, Free State in 1983; he lives and works in Johannesburg. Dhlamini majored in documentary photography at the Market Photo Workshop in Johannesburg and was the recipient of the Edward Ruiz Mentorship 2011/12. Dhlamini’s work focuses on his upbringing, as well as the way he views contemporary South Africa.
His ‘Umama’ series was exhibited as part of his Edward Ruiz award at the Market Photo Workshop in 2012, and at Goodman Gallery Cape Town in 2013 – his first solo exhibition with the gallery. Here, Dhlamini pays homage to single mothers and explores the challenges faced by women raising children on their own in South African townships. For his ‘Recaptured’ series, which was exhibited at Goodman Gallery in 2016, Dhlamini turned to the community of Sharpeville, asking people to bring objects that reminded them of the 1960 massacre. Over the course of several years, Dhlamini interviewed and photographed a number of individuals who traced their movements and emotions on the day of the Sharpeville Massacre, relocating themselves within the collective memory.
In 2018, his work was featured on the Five Photographers, A Tribute to David Goldblatt group exhibition at the Gerard Sekoto Gallery at the French Institute. In his most recent exhibition at Goodman Gallery, iXesha!, Dhlamini explored how memory is created and archived within a community where the memory has been localised. This exhibition included images from Dhlamini’s recent series iQhawekazi documenting the events around Winnie Mandela’s funeral.
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