Dineo Seshee Bopape
Untitled (Of Occult Instability) [Feelings]
Palais de Tokyo
Curator: Adélaïde Blanc
23.06.2016 – 11.09.2016


“I do not believe the conditions that produced a situation that demanded a _______ like that…”


A cascade of rubble and a small band of drops accumulating in buckets pervade Dineo Seshee Bopape’s installation. These forms allude to a saturation point and an imminent collapse. The exhibition’s title is a reflection upon the revolutionary psychiatrist Frantz Fanon’s (1925- 1961) notion of the “zone of occult instability” and other texts on the psyche of those under the subjection of colonial domination and on the question of violence. The title also refers to Nina Simone’s live at the 1976 Montreux Jazz Festival, another birth point of the exhibition. The singer interrupts her singing of “Feelings” to speak to the audience: “I do not believe the conditions that produced a situation that demanded a song like that.” These ideas are partly explored in Dineo Seshee Bopape’s video titled killjoy@vincennes Paris, 2016 (2016): filmed at the Vincennes tropical garden which in 1907 hosted “human zoos”, it shows the present public park. Everyday people can relax and partake in recreational activities (drawing classes, martial arts, drumming sessions, picnics etc.) amid the pavilions of the colonial exhibition overrun by a swell of plant life and the monuments to those who fought for France during the colonial era. In another video, the artist re-enacts an interview Winnie Mandela (born in 1937) found online and reflecting on the use of violence in the fight against the apartheid state. These works are “in the company of” Lachell Workman’s Justice for___ (2014), an installation reflecting on the ongoing demand for justice for black lives and on imprisonment of black subject. Jabu Arnell’s Discoball #9 (2016) is a work materially evocative layered both symbolically and literally.