Rooted in his daily experiences and his upbringing in the remote town of Bakenberg, South Africa, Moshekwa Langa’s drawings, installations, sculptures, photographs, and videos reflect an anthropological approach to his own life and his contemporary context. As he describes: “For me, it is interesting to work in that liminal space between losing consciousness of the real and falling into a fantastical wakefulness, of making sense of what is around me, and what I imagine [and] hope to be around me and what I wish to be away from me.”
Metseng was part of the exhibition Ellipses. The exhibition served as a chronicle of the artist’s life and continued his practice of documentation through abstract, figurative and text-based imagery. Langa’s work since the mid-1990s has interrogated land and public and personal politics through the mapping of territory and cultural environments, charting the relationships, associations and intimacies with places and people that constitute his journeys in the world.
Recently, the artist has been interested in the interrelation between homelands and cities as imagined through characters who leave families behind in search of livelihoods. In this sense, the artist has articulated how industrial capitalism relies on the availability of manual labour residing close to factories. Capitalism serves as a beacon by opening up the urban zone, giving hope in the measure of financial reward to the marginalized. While cities can be places of creativity, cultural production, and capital accumulation, the reality of disconnected labourers and abandoned families lies underneath. Langa’s work shows the city as a site of dreams represented in a poetic search for spiritual and material wholeness.