Visual artist Banele Khoza’s concern with gender, masculinity and identity remain strong motivations in his latest collection, according to Smith gallery in Cape Town, where the artist is due to debut his exhibition LOVE? this week. “But with LOVE?, he introduces a wistful and sardonic take on love in the technological age.”
LOVE? is the artist’s third solo following 2017’s Lonely Nights at Lizamore & Associates in Joburg and Temporary Feelings at the Pretoria Art Museum in 2016, and comprises images and text that reflects on the irony of disengagement in our uber-connected contemporary society.
“We are immersed in a curated reality and only exposed to the best part of people’s lives, yet we haven’t learnt to objectively consume images. So, we create a reality of their lives in our minds based on what has been shared,” says the Swaziland-born, Pretoria-based creative, who late last year won the Gerard Sekoto Award at the Absa Art Gallery for his series Note Making and with it a three-month residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. “When we are confronted with these images, they prey on what is lacking in our own lives. If our careers are stagnant we are likely to notice someone who is traveling the world with their business or job. If you have a non-existent love life, you will not miss all the ‘baecations’ or engagements and weddings from your following. “It is worse for someone who is in a functioning relationship and starts to compare notes based on this ‘reality’. People are expecting the world from others and actually we are responsible for our own happiness.”