Curator Natasha Becker speaks with Tschabalala Self about her relationship to mythology, discovering her aesthetic language, and how she depicts Blackness throughout her body of work.
I first came to New York City in 2003 and remember seeing the work of Gary Simmons at Metro Pictures. It was a formative experience. There were so many incredible artists exhibiting in the early aughts; it felt special to have been part of that moment. Its been many years between that moment and seeing Simmonss newest exhibition at Hauser & Wirth in Los Angeles, but the artwork had the same impact, the same mesmerizing immediacy. In the conversation that follows, we discuss the artists educational formation, the way collective memory forms around certain images, and the importance of artwork that poses questions.
I am fascinated by the lives of different generations South Africans: what are their hopes? how are they thinking about freedom? in the afterlife of apartheid, how have different peoples lives changed? what kinds of lives are they trying to live now that they are free?
McCallums pictures can be felt as singling the viewer out, implicating the viewer in the movement of its testimony to Foleys experiences and to the people whose lives are caught in the conflict. The force of this testimony is felt as an encounter between the image and the viewer with indeterminate, yet potentially significant resonances.