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South African artist Francois Knoetze works across sculpture, performance, video and installation, and is interested in the connections between social histories and material culture.
His first major series, Cape Mongo (2013-2016) was created as part of his MFA degree (Michaelis School of Fine Art, UCT) and has been exhibited extensively internationally (at La Triennale di Milano in 2019, Kunsthal KAdE in 2018, Wiener Festwochen in 2015, LagosPhoto Festival in 2015, Somerset House in 2015).
Since completing his formal education, Knoetze’s practice has been itinerant. He has spent the past 5 years working on projects in South Africa, Tanzania (artist inresidence at Nafasi Art Space), The Democratic Republic of the Congo (as part of Kinact3), Dakar (Afropixel6/Digital Imaginaries), New York and Shenzhen (Digital Earth Fellowship). In 2015, Knoetze was featured as one of Mail & Guardian Newspaper’s ‘Top 200 Young South Africans’. His recent solo and group exhibitions in 2019 include Core Dump, Fak’ugesi Festival (Johannesburg), RSA, and Cosmopolis #2, Centre Pompidou (Paris), Italy.
(n. slang.) object thrown away and then recovered
Francois Knoetze’s Cape Mongo series imagines trash objects – specifically, the packaging of domestic consumables and the electronic devices used to record every-day life – as remnants of the activities that shaped them. Each Mongo character is made from Cape Town’s discarded waste – mythical ‘trash creatures’ which have emerged from the growing dumps of consumer culture. Two Mongo characters VHS (2013) and Cable Mongo (2019) will be presented at Neon Lights Festival 2019.
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