Dineo Sheshe Bopape


Dineo Seshee Bopape was born in 1981 on a Sunday. If she were Ghanaian, her name would be Akosua/Akos for short. In the year of her birth, the Brixton riots took place; two people were injured when a bomb exploded in a Durban shopping centre. Bobby Sands dies, MTV is launched, the Boeing 767 makes its first air flight, Umkhonto we Sizwe performs numerous underground assault operations against the apartheid state. There was an earthquake in China that killed maybe 50 people. Hosni Mubarak was elected president of Egypt, there was a coup d’etat in Ghana. Princess Diana of Britain married Charles. Bob Marley dies. Apartheid SA invaded Angola. AIDS is identified/created/named. Salman Rushdie releases Midnight’s Children. In the region of her birth: Her paternal grandmother died. Julius Malema is born. Millions of people cried. Millions of people laughed! The world’s population was apparently at around 4,529-billion.

Bopape spent her youth in Limpopo in varying social situations. At 12 years of age she began to follow a hunger for an elsewhere, beginning with Durban where she spent some years and studied painting and sculpture. She is a 2007 graduate of De Ateliers in Amsterdam and in 2010 completed an MFA at Columbia University, New York. She was the winner of the 2008 MTN New Contemporaries Award, and the recipient of a 2010 Columbia University Toby Fund Award. She has shown her work in major and minor national and international exhibitions … Other events of the year of her birth and of her lifetime are perhaps too many to fully know.Switzerland.


Artwork: is I am sky (2013)

is i am sky…
I began with the filming of the  video in San Francisco whilst in residence at the headlands arts center residency, I went for a walk, with my camera
Noticed how similar the landscape/vegetation was to the cape terrain…
I began to think about whether there are songs about ‘the land’
At the time when I went for the walk on the news back in sa , 1 man who was on trail for singing an apartheid resistance song “kill the boer, kill the farmer”- there was a contestation about whether the song can be still sung now or not, (he was the youth president of the anc party)
Anyways, I went on the hill, elated to kiss the wind, and be closer to the sky I sang some songs,
closer to the sky I sang some songs,
(I wondered if/how one can marry the sky)
On my mind for a number of years has been the 1985 poem by SunRa called ‘the endless realm’… there might be a line in the poem that says- is I am sky…
Which is where the title of the video has come from…
I really like the way the words are arranged in the title… is I am sky… am I the sky? Is the sky i? am I the sky? Do I exists as the sky?
(beginning with existence )
‘All that and this are mine, and all together they are nothing…. How treasured rich I am…’
I have been thinking a lot about interiority and exteriority… mirrors…
Internal mirrors/external mirrors…
One’s sense self… possession/loss
The loss of self, the capturing/possession of one’s self
Where is the self located?how is it located? (How to find it once it is lost)
Whose sky? whose green grass- all that is nothing, together they are mine, mountains of nothing, eternal nothing
Which self, whose self, how self?
What is the sky?
Can the sky see me? could I see me? (within the belly of a whale)
Like in the abott book- flatland:a romance of many dimensions…
And like ‘the way a pepperoni on a pizza pie cannot see the whole pie…’
During the making of it, I have visited the work of tlokwe sehume, george lewis, sun ra and others unconsciously too!they are on a cosmic groove that I get dazzled by from the inside…
Kerry James Marshall’s works also sprung to me whilst editing the work too!! Cyprian shilakoe…. Ralph Ellison…
There is something about the night too…
the sky too…
this nothing too,
how treasured rich I am…
I have the beauty of nothing
Looking into space- empty space- nothing space filled with nothing- (stars planets inbetween all the nothing)
The self recedes into nothing
Shinny shimmering nothing
the eve of nothing, (a beautiful death)


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