The South African performance artist and filmmaker Francois Knoetze deals in his artistic works with the connections between social history and material culture. He examines the material cycles of our consumer goods, their origin and death of which most consumers know nothing about: as soon as the objects have lost their primary function or fallen out of the current trend, they are thrown away and forgotten. Knoetze works against this all too careless forgetting – what has been thrown away returns to us as uncanny, fantastic-looking figures. The focus here is on the devastating implications for people who are part of a cycle determined by the economy, in which consumption and waste, privilege and poverty, human and inhuman, belong inextricably together. In his installation “Core Dump” (2018), which is part of the exhibition »Digital Imaginaries – Africas in Production«, the artist explores the complex global connections that weave around our communication technologies such as smartphones. In particular, the contradiction between the technological utopianism of Silicon Valley and its exploitative relationship to Africa in the extraction of raw materials and the disposal of electrical waste is addressed. The lecture introduces the artistic work of Francois Knoetzes and places a special focus on the work “Core Dump”, an upcoming work to be seen at ZKM | Karlsruhe.
About Francois Knoetze
Francois Knoetze (b.1989) is a performance artist, sculptor and filmmaker. He holds a BA Fine Arts degree from Rhodes University and an MFA from Michaelis School of Fine Art, UCT.
Knoetze retraces the life cycles of discarded objects and explores junctures between material and social histories. In his Mongo* sculptural suits, the synthetic is welded to the human – bringing focus to the objectification of persons, through the personification of objects.
In 2015 Knoetze featured as one of Mail & Guardian’s ‘Top 200 Young South Africans’. His series Cape Mongo formed part of the Grahamstown National Arts Festival Main Programme in 2015 and the Global Graduate Programme at Design Indaba 2016. He has participated in group exhibitions, such as U/Tropia at the Wiener Festwochen in Germany (2015), Slow Violence at the University of Stellenbosch Art Gallery (2015) and Designing Futures at the Lagos Photo Festival (2015).
Thursday, 7 February 2019, 6pm.
ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe