Artist Statement

 

Masked Reality by Blessing Ngobeni

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Our current situation in Africa is suppressed by material things that have dominated our daily lives. These materials have taught us to hate each other because of the highly competitive world we live in. Most of our intellectual property is used to advance westernization, at the very same time our own people end up buying into that lifestyle of being used as puppets. We are the tool that drives westernization, a system that is designed to keep us oppressed.

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In this body of work I explore these different landscapes and how it is being polluted by these materials things. We have become clusters or compounds of westernization from how we speak to the cars we drive. Our cities have become indexes of the world we live in. We say we have maintained peace that we have been set free but it came at a cost. Many of us in these cities that claim to be open for everyone, walk around with empty stomachs or worse, become robots of the system in place. But patience is running out for most as we are at the worst end of this system. There is no access to this liberty this freedom that we received. Soon these compounds of westernization will begin to rebel, start ripping apart these limbs that they have said we cannot live without.

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The material in the artworks comes from magazines, newspapers and books that sell us the system and subjects us to surrender. When we look into these magazines we see the lifestyle and dream that maybe one day I will own that shoe or one day I will eat that food. We work so hard to be these compounds of westernization. The characters are constructed with these images of consumerism. They allow us to see the inside of these compounds, naked and exposed.