Sunday, December 19, 2021 at 10:00am to 5:00pm
Ile aye, moya, là, ndokh…harmonic conversations…mm is a solo exhibition by South African artist Dineo Seshee Bopape. The show’s title calls to the elements—earth, wind, fire, and water—summoned in various languages from West and Southern Africa.
Images, objects, and sounds made from soil and water resonate throughout the exhibition. They point to cities, ports, and waterways that played important roles in the enslavement of people. By transforming soil samples from Virginia, Louisiana, Senegal, Ghana, and South Africa into material for sculpture and video, Bopape highlights the connectedness of the disparate places—historically and materially. She forges harmonic conversations with ancestral pasts, presences, and futures.
Each of the transatlantic sites Bopape explored for this exhibition expose crimes of history. The plantations, ports, and trading posts where human life was sold and consumed are still evident in our built environments today. These places carry a living memory—in their visible construction, in the wealth created by forced labor, and in festering social wounds that are often masked. Yet, Bopape goes beyond the narrative of enslavement to explore the many ways people escaped to find freedom through running, through spirituality, through community, and through creativity.
Ile aye, moya, là, ndokh…harmonic conversations…mm curated by the ICA's Amber Esseiva, opens Friday, September 24.
Institute for Contemporary Art
601 West Broad St, Richmond, VA 23220