Matshelane Xhakazawas born in 1993 in Johannesburg, South Africa, where she currently lives and works

She was born on a Tuesday in 1993, to peering eyes and a Spedi was given name. If she were Nigerian she would have been named Ezinma in a land where things fall apart. De Klerk is President. A time when the people did not know that in a year it would be “officially” declared over. Chris Hani The Great is assassinated, the future seems bleep and uncertain; Sekoto dies, Tambo dies. As the struggle continues sanctions are lifted and international involvement can be established, and so an interim constitution of this land is approved. And while white and black are both awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, many still others are getting killed.

Years pass and it’s the year 2012…

The gods realised that a Fine Art degree education at the University of the Witwatersrand would be befitting and so she set forth till completion in 2015.                                                                                             During these fruitious years her work demonstrates how life extends beyond its own subjective limits and often tells a story about the effects of global cultural interaction over the beginning stages of the twenty first century. It challenges the binaries we continually reconstruct between Self and Other, in which she tries to approach a wide scale of subjects in a multi-layered way. Her work directly responds to the surrounding environment and uses everyday experiences from the artist as a starting point. Often these are framed instances that would go unnoticed in their original context. As a result her work is largely site-specific in which the space and the context allow the work to be read extensively.

Her text-based works are saturated with obviousness, mental inertia, clichés and sarcasm. They question the coerciveness that is derived from the more profound meaning and the superficial aesthetic appearance of an image. By parodying the ordinary, by exaggerating certain formal aspects inherent to our contemporary society the works are often idiosyncratic and quirky.

Her works are a drawn reflection upon the art of art itself: thoroughly self-referential, yet no less aesthetically pleasing, and therefore deeply inscribed in the history of modernism- made present most palpably in the artist’s exploration of some of the most hallowed of modernist paradigms and socio-political themes in the present time.



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Name: Matshelane Xhakazawas


City: Johannesburg