Moshekwa Langa at KM21 – Artforum Worldwide
Shirley Bassey’s 1971 soul ballad “(The place Do I Start) Love Story” echoes all through “Omweg” (a shared Dutch and Afrikaans phrase which means one thing akin to “detour”), Moshekwa Langa’s first main solo exhibition within the Netherlands. The artist has spliced collectively the track’s surging string-and-brass overture with a loop of the title chorus as a part of his 2001 video work The place Do I Start, which was shot in his birthplace of Bakenberg in South Africa’s Limpopo province. Right here, passengers in floral skirts and polished sneakers are filmed from the knee down as they gingerly board a regional bus. This nameless processional transforms a repeated movement—bearing down, stepping up—right into a metaphysical state that, along with Bassey’s languid inquiry, acts as an invocation or open-ended prophecy for a present exploring the contours of belonging.
Langa, who is predicated in Amsterdam, explores materiality and ephemerality in each his summary and his documentary work. “Omweg” presents a number of new portray sequence that symbolize the challenges of translating residence into or onto a set of simple coordinates. In his sequence “Moonscape,” 2020–22, Langa has lacquered over shards of burnt firewood and charcoal atop unframed canvases. The gesture renders acquainted supplies into uncanny textures whereas suggesting a monochromatic panorama distinct to South Africa, the place the charcoal was collected. The artist’s sequence of “Blotted Work,” 2022, continues this exploration of motion and stillness. On the far finish of the gallery, an ensemble of thirty colourful canvases is strung from the ceiling like components of an elongated cellular. Although stationary, the work appear to sway to Bassey’s soundtrack as a form of respiratory, a second of exhalation earlier than the beginning of one thing massive.