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Lerato Shadi

3 Feb–17 Apr 22

In her artistic practice, Lerato Shadi critically examines gaps and omissions in historical narratives, bringing marginalised bodies and perspectives to the fore. Her work reflects upon the violence of inaccurate historiographies, demanding an immediate confrontation with them.

The title Maropeng comes from the Setswana saying »Maropeng go a boelwa go sa boelweng ke teng«. In Setswana, Maropeng means »returning to the place of origin« or »returning home«. At the end of the two-year exhibition series on the theme of solidarity, labour and care, Lerato Shadi transforms the Galerie im Turm into a space that allows us to reflect upon the relationship between history, the present and the future. In an expansive installation, we are confronted with our own gaze. Shadi’s work visualises the permanent unfolding of history in the here and now. The moment of observation raises questions about our own entanglement and positioning in historical processes: To what extent are my gaze and body shaped by history? What experiences does this facilitate, and what do I remain unable to experience? What responsibility do we bear towards our history and its presence in today’s world?

Shadi’s Maropeng is a postcolonial and feminist return of the question of the social situatedness of knowledge and the never-ending possibility of change and new beginnings.

Maropeng is the final instalment in the exhibition series MY WORKING WILL BE THE WORK: on self/care, labour and solidarity, curated by Linnéa Meiners and Jorinde Splettstößer.

About the artist

Lerato Shadi’s practice challenges common assumptions to critique Western notions of history and make visible that which is invisible or overlooked. By placing herself at the forefront of her work, Shadi deals with the politics of cultural erasure and structural exclusion. She states: “It serves to challenge myself, and hopefully my audience as well, in how I/we are complicit in the violence of historical erasure by not fighting for a more inclusive and accurate historical narrative. I realised that by just blindly or lazily accepting an inaccurate history I would be sanctioning the problematic dominant narrative with my own inactivity.”

Lerato Shadi (*Mahikeng, lives and works in Berlin) studied visual art at the University of Johannesburg and earned a M.A. (Spatial Strategies) from Weißensee Academy of Art Berlin in 2018, where she is currently lecturing. Her works have been shown internationally in numerous solo and group exhibition, i. a. at the Palais de la Porte Dorée and in the Musée d’art moderne both in Paris (2021); in solo shows at KINDL – Centre for Contemporary Art, Berlin and at Kunstverein in Hamburg (2020); during the 14th Curitiba Biennial in Brasil and at SAVVY Contemporary, Berlin (2019); Kunsthal Amersfoort in Holland, Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa in Cape Town (2018); during the public program of The Parliament of Bodies at documenta 14 in Kassel (2017). In March 2022 her first monograph will be published with Archive Books, Berlin.


Curators: Linnéa Meiners & Jorinde Splettstößer
Head of production: Miriam Döring
PR: Helen-Sophie Mayr
Projekt assistence: Dani Hasrouni & Alena Trapp
Installation team: Claudio Aguirre, Jolyon Jones, Rachel McCollum, Flavio Medina, Felipe Monroy, Federica Partinico & Alberto Sardo
Translation: Gegensatz Translation Collective
Gallery superision: Ferdinand Gieschke & Daniela Schoepe

The curators would like to thank the team of Galerie im Turm and of Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien: Stéphane Bauer, Jens Gehlkopf, Sofía Pfister, Serkan Sevincli, Josef Stöhr, Achim Wilke as well as the gallery’s supervision team.

With kind support of Exhibition Fund Municipal Galleries and Fund Exhibition fees for visual artists.

Galerie im Turm is a facility of the district office Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg.