Press Release


From October 6, 2022 to January 29, 2023, Pirelli HangarBicocca presents Born in the first light of the morning [moswara'marapo], the first survey exhibition dedicated to Dineo Seshee Bopape. Through a distinctive combination of moving images, sound elements, wall drawings, and a thriving earthly vocabulary—comprising of soil, water, clay, bricks, herbs, wood, and natural light—the artist conjures up a poetic visual landscape at Pirelli HangarBicocca, offering insights on the ideas of memory—corporeally, materially and socio-politically—and reconciliation of self and story.













































 




















 





























International exhibitions

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Dineo Seshee Bopape, Born in the first light of the morning

Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan (Italy)
06.10.2022 - 29.01.2023


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The work of Dineo Seshee Bopape (b. Polokwane, South Africa, 1981; current resident of Johannesburg) is characterized by the use of organic and highly symbolic materials, often juxtaposed with digital and technological aesthetic vocabularies. Drawing on her own experiences related to her home country of South Africa, and its threads, tentacles and mirrors to elsewheres, the artist weaves narratives in which maternal and female corporeality, take on a substantial role in investigating mythologies and ancestral archetypes (rock, water, fire, air), often ‘questioning’ the archived, the aftereffects of colonialisms and the political and spiritual function(s) of memory.


The exhibition, curated by Lucia Aspesi and Fiammetta Griccioli, presents a series of installations, wall drawings and videos, including a new production: Mothabeng (2022), a sound sculpture especially conceived and created from recordings made in a marble quarry in the Tuscan Apennines during one of Bopape's stays in Italy. The title of the show evokes both a state of re-birth and states of transitions and transmutations: with these words, Bopape encourages us to rethink the notion of a work of art itself, seen as a conduit between material and immaterial worlds and transdurational experiences. In particular, the artist’s choice to use both English and SePedi, one of South Africa's BaNtu languages, and her mother-tongue, extends the conceptual parameters of the work.


Light, evoked in the title, also performs as a visual element in the exhibition, bringing up a reflection on the spatial and nonlinear dimension of time, as linked to the complementary physical-perceptual relation between light and darkness, dawn and dusk. Upon entering the exhibition, the visitors are welcomed in the half-light by works where the moving image is central—such as lerato laka le a phela le a phela / my love is alive, is alive, is alive (2022) and (Serithi) The rest, as they used to say, is story (2021). By contrast, as viewers move through, natural light directly enters the space through large windows open on both sides of the building, shaping spatial installations that make use of organic materials—for example, Lerole: footnotes (The struggle of memory against forgetting) (2017). Through these juxtapositions, the artist provides an unprecedented topography of her work, in which material installations and indigenous African architectural structures mingle with digital and immaterial pieces: an iridescent landscape that transforms according to the time of day and weather conditions.


Special thanks to the Henraux Foundation for the production of Mothabeng (2022). The work lerato laka le a phela le a phela le a phela / my love is alive, is alive, is alive (2022) is commissioned by TBA21–Academy and co-produced with Pirelli HangarBicocca.





Dineo Seshee Bopape, lerato laka le a phela le a phela le a phela / My love is alive, is alive, is alive, 2022. Installation view, Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan, 2022. Commissioned by TBA21–Academy and co-produced with Pirelli HangarBicocca. Courtesy of the artist and Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan. Photo: Agostino Osio.



Exhibition 06 October 2022 - 29 January  2023. Pirelli HangarBicocca, Via Chiese, 2 - 20126 Milan (Italy). T +39 02 6611 1573. Hours: Thursday–Sunday 10:30am–8:30pm

 











 





 



























 





 











Dineo Seshee Bopape, Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan

© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2022. All Rights Reserved

Dineo Seshee Bopape, lerato laka le a phela le a phela le a phela / My love is alive, is alive, is alive, 2022. Installation view, Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan, 2022. Commissioned by TBA21–Academy and co-produced with Pirelli HangarBicocca. Courtesy of the artist and Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan. Photo: Agostino Osio.