We need your help to move our works home to Gaborone from Cape Town and to fund our opening night at the Botswana National Museum.
In its first installation at Gallery Momo, Cape Town, The Botswana Pavilion: No Return endeavoured to bring together Batswana artists that were living and creating in the city. The activation sought to serve as a platform for the artists to discuss their experiences as ‘displaced Batswana’ who must, in their existence, tarry between a citizen and a local but not quite being able to genuinely own either status. For the fact of their leaving, they will always be understood to be from ‘elsewhere’.
The Venice Biennale (La Biennale di Venezia) is an international art exhibition that was established in 1895. “It has been in the avant-garde, promoting new artistic trends and organising international events in contemporary arts in accordance with a multi-disciplinary model, which characterises its unique nature” (Biennale Foundation, 2019). Over 80 nations bring together exceptional artists to represent their country, each is given a ‘pavilion’ in which to exhibit. Botswana has never had a pavilion at the Venice Biennale. “In positioning the exhibition as the Botswana Pavilion, we are offered a complicated occasion of national pride. At the same time that it asserts the national identity of the exhibiting artists, it also begs the question: who decides what art can function as an ‘official representation’ of a country’s cultural landscape? Can art ever represent a national identity, is there such a thing as a national identity particularly after Globalisation, who decides what this identity is and which art should represent it?” (Khanya Mashabela, 2019)In the second installation of the exhibition which will be held at the Botswana National Museum from the 24th of September, ‘The Botswana Pavilion:’ expands on the already established group to include young artists/makers that are currently residing in and around Gaborone. Based on Khanya Mashabela’s observations of the previous show, ‘The Botswana Pavilion: Subjective Nationhood’ aims to actively interrogate the question of Botswana’s creative national identity within itself and within the international arts arena as we make the shift to a knowledge based economy that recognizes the value of the creative industry. Botswana’s. The exhibition will run until the 26th of October and will be aptly present throughout our 53rd Independence celebrations and the general elections on the 24th of October.
Help us make the second showing a success with your support!