What's up Berlin?
Lerato Shadi at KINDL – Centre for Contemporary Art

On September 12, 2020, Berlin-based Lerato Shadi will open her solo exhibition at KINDL – Center for Contemporary Art in Berlin-Neukölln. Her show Maru a Pula Is a Song of Happiness presents videos, neon signs, and a photographic work as well as a new series of textile works that address the relationship between the panel painting and performativity.

Lerato Shadi (born in Mahikeng, South Africa) makes the invisible or overlooked visible in her work and criticizes purely Western notions of history. She places her body at the centre of her work—often in lengthy, physically demanding performances. In Mabogo Dinku (2019) expressive hand movements accompany a folk song in a South African language. Some gestures are universally recognizable from waving and beckoning to pointing and halting. However, their full meaning along with the words of the song escapes us without subtitles. Shadi offers a take on the history of her people marginalized during the apartheid regime. By not translating her own language into English or another dominant European language, Shadi rejects the history of Western colonization in South Africa and ensures the viewer listens to her mother tongue.