While preparing the exhibition, Dineo Seshee Raisibe Bopape spent time on the Frantsila organic herb farm in Hämeenkyrö, Finland, learning about healing herbal plants, local traditions and nature. All of this had a significant impact on the exhibition. The installation turns the gallery into a built landscape.
In her practice, Bopape often uses natural materials such as clay, soil, ash and plants, from which she creates site-specific installations. Although the materials are ordinary, they convey a rich sense of symbolism, often referring to history and actual geographic locations. Soil is a particularly central material in her work; according to southern African lore, the minerals found in rocks, for example, are repositories of memory and primordial knowledge. Alongside natural materials, the artist employs video, sound and neon lights in the exhibition in Kiasma.
The female condition often plays an essential role in Bopape’s work as the source of life and renewal. Bopape’s work stems from personal experiences of her native South Africa and its history, which transcends national boundaries.
Dineo Seshee Raisibe Bopape (b. 1981, Polokwane, South Africa) lives in Johannesburg. She has recently had solo exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (2023) and Pirelli HangarBicocca in Milan (2022). In 2019, she was one of the artists who represented South Africa at the Venice Biennale. Among Bopape’s accolades is the Future Generation Art Prize, which she was awarded in 2017.
The exhibition is curated by João Laia, chief curator of temporary exhibitions.