Dineo Seshee Bopape

Dineo Seshee Bopape, Untitled (Of Occult Instability) [Feelings], 2016, courtesy Palais de Tokyo, Paris; SAM Art Projects, photo: Aurélien Mole

In Untitled (Of Occult instability) [Feelings] (2016–18), presented at the 10th Berlin Biennale, Bopape explores thinking through literature and sound. The work draws on South African author Bessie head’s novel A Question of Power (1973), about a woman’s descent into insanity, and Nina Simone’s 1976 performance of Feelings at the Montreux Jazz Festival as an inquiry into mental instabilities that recalls Frantz Fanon’s intersections between madness and the colony. The installation comprises numerous components: a borrowed video of Simone’s performance, an arrangement of bricks suggesting different states of ruination, makeshift bucket-fountains, and a framed playlist written on a paper napkin. In a gesture of hospitality and collaboration, Bopape has invited three artists—Jabu Arnell, Lachell Workman, and Robert Rhee—to include individual works in her installation.

Bopape’s latest video work is being screened at various venues throughout the 10th Berlin Biennale. The work draws on the 2005–6 trial of the, now former, president of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, for the rape of Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo, also know as “Khwezi.” Bopape’s work addresses the epidemic of sexual violence in South Africa and the hypersexualization and victimization of the black female body.

—Portia Malatjie

  • KW Institute for Contemporary Art



Untitled (Of Occult Instability) [Feelings], 2016–18
Bricks, light, sounds, videos, water, framed napkin
Including works by:
Jabu Arnell, Discoball X, 2018
Lachell Workman, Justice for _____ , 2014
Robert Rhee, EEEERRRRGGHHHH and ZOUNDS (both from the series Occupations of Uninhabited Space, 2013–ongoing), 2015
Courtesy Dineo Seshee Bopape; Jabu Arnell; Lachell Workman; Mo Laudi; Robert Rhee; Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Hamburg/Beirut

Coproduced by Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art
With the support of Sharjah Art Foundation and Ammodo Foundation


Title unknown at the time of publication, 2018
Video, sound
Director of Photography: Louis Lavoie Isebaert
Camera Assistant: Alexandre Desjardins
Grip: Étienne Denis
Sound: Marc-Antoine Doyon
Featuring Marie Jude Salomon, Michel Forgues
Courtesy Dineo Seshee Bopape

Coproduced by Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art; Sharjah Art Foundation; Darling Foundry, Montreal
All works with the support of Sharjah Art Foundation and Ammodo Foundation