Artists’ Film International Screening 8

Artist: Lerato Shadi

Editorial Contacts:

Jiannan Hu

+86 185 1062 2663

KWM artcenter is pleased to present its eight collaboration with the Whitechapel Gallery, London from July 7th, 2020 onwards. Caused by COVID 19 restrictions, the screenings have been shown on KWM artcenter’s online and social media platforms so far this year. Due to the improved situation after this screening, we will return to the live screening platform in the space. Throughout 2020, KWM artcenter will be showing a series of moving image works as part of the Artists’ Film International (AFI) project, this year, based on the theme of language. AFl celebrates moving image work and is selected by a global partnership of arts organisations including KWM artcenter. Each nominates an outstanding work from their region which is screened across each venue during the year.

The third film this year is Mabogo Dinku (2019) by South African artist Lerato Shad. Lerato Shadi’s work challenges common assumptions to critique Western notions of history and make visible that which is invisible or overlooked. In particular, she critiques the assumption that Western history is world history.

In the video, the artist’s hand makes enigmatic gestures and she sings a folk verse in a South African language.  But she provides no subtitles or guidance on what the words and gestures mean because she is narrating the un-narratable, the history of her people, marginalised during apartheid South Africa.  The history she was taught at school is the history of the coloniser, which she rejects, so what history can she tell?  Furthermore, the translation of the language into English or other dominant western language would pay homage to western languages as the “universal” one, continuing the boxing in of others’ mother tongues into the languages of the “other”.


About the artist

Lerato Shadi was born in Mahikeng, South Africa, and lives and works in Berlin.  She graduated from the University of Johannesburg in 2006 and earned a MA in Spatial Strategies from the Weißensee Academy of Art in Berlin.  Shadi works across video, performance and installation, often employing repetitive processes.  Her work has been included in international exhibitions, most recently at the 14th Curitiba Biennal in Brazil; Zeitz MOCAA in Cape Town.  She has been awarded the Alumni Dignitas Award of the University of Johannesburg in 2016, the Villa Romana Prize in 2018, and the Berliner Senat Arbeitsstipendium in 2019.  Her work is in the collection of the Tate Modern, n.b.k. Videoforum, and Iziko South African National Gallery.


金杜艺术中心(KWM artcenter)

The KWM artcenter opened on 20th October 2016. It is located on the second floor of the WFC centre CBD in Beijing. The Art center is supported by the law firm King & Wood Mallesons. The KWM artcenter presents and promotes artists both domestically and overseas as well as building up its own collection. In particular, it acts as a rare art institution at the heart of the economic central area in Beijing. It provides high-quality art educational activities and courses aimed to cultivate art lovers and collectors. It serves to improve the international influence of Chinese Art and become a powerful communicator of Chinese Contemporary Art.



Lerato Shadi
Mabogo Dinku
Video ,6′
Selected by Friends of Iziko South African National Gallery

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