With a similar format to the Indian exhibit, the South African Pavilion features works by a variety of artists.  Each artist illustrates their own unique narrative as part of the fabric that illustrates, and is able to articulate with more accuracy as a whole, what constitutes South Africa’s national identity.  Curated by Thembinkosi Goniwe the exhibit explores the polarity between fantasy and reality.  The disparity between each work’s each theme is present in South Africa’s Pavilion, as it was in India’s, however, the relation between them is less loosely connected, as each of these work’s are rooted in the same post-apartheid ideology.  Each of these works depicts an imaginary truth or ideal narrative that reflects sans bias both the desired and detested aspects of South Africa.  Lyndi Sale‘s, Simeon Allen‘s, and Mary Sibande’s works are embedded with the idea of art as a form of social change.  The consciousness of the struggle against social injustice during the apartheid lingers throughout the Pavilion, as each of these works reference the shadows of the past.

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Lyndi Sales, 'Satellite Telescope,' 2011. (Photograph courtesy of the South African Pavilion website gallery.) This work is concerned with perception and the possibilities of alternative realities. This abstract sculpture composed of a series of laser-cut Perspex mirrors is suspended from the ceiling. Inspired the the first satellite of this kind to be sent into space from Kenya in the 1970s, this satellite was successful in capturing information about the universe beyond our world.
LEFT: Mary Sibande, 'Lovers in Tango,' 2011. (Photograph courtesy of the South African Pavilion website gallery.) This installation is composed of 26-life size sculptures line in three squadrons, each in two rows of four figures, with the remaining two facing each other at the end of the formation. The familiar character of Sophie, a persona conceived as a maid, is present as ell as a new persona of Sibande's creation that is dressed in a military uniform. The two isolated figures at the top of the regiment represent Sibande's parents. Their gestures and stances refer to tango movements, hence the title of the work. However, romance, passion, and movement are deliberately denied, indicated by the exaggerated spacing between the two figures. RIGHT: Siemon Allen, 'Labels,' 2011. (Photograph courtesy of the South African Pavilion website gallery.) This is site specific installation is a semi-transparent curtain supporting a staggered grid of over 2,500 digital prints of scanned record labels. The work functions as a historical record of chronological discography of selected labels from Allen's entire archive of South African audio. The labels and even the music are the items of mass-production that culturally is a constructor of national identity.
Mary Sibande, 'Lovers in Tango,' 2011. (Google Images.)
LEFT: Mary Sibande, '... of Prosperity,' 2011. (Photograph courtesy of the South African Pavilion website gallery.) This sculture again uses the persona of Sophie. The sculpture has a domineering presence in the Pavilion as she wears an enormous billowing blue Victorian-inspired dress with orange piping around the hundreds of hexagonal forms sprawling from her skirt. RIGHT: Mary Sibande and Simeon Allen, alternative views of '...of Prosperity' and 'Labels,' 2011. Photograph courtesy of the South African Pavilion website gallery.
Siemon Allen, 'Records (detail of 'Better'),' 2010-11. (Photograph curtsey of VCU website.) This work is composed of five highly detailed scanned enlargements of individual records ('Better,' 'His Master's Voice,' 'Rave,' 'Tempo,' and 'Zenophone.') These detailed prints record in datail not only the grooves, but also the accumulated scratches and dames that speak to the memory of the object.

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