2016 – 2017


‘Be Kind. Please Rewind.’ Group show at Gallery MOMO
22 June – 15 July 2017 (Cape Town, South Africa)

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The collaborative piece between Martin Wilson and photographer & video artist Kyu Sang Lee (South Korea) originated as an experiment in the use of video projection as a physical analogy for the act of remembering. In an attempt to emphasize the inherent weightlessness and instability of any recollection, they chose to forgo the neutral flatness of a wall or projection-screen for a more complex three-dimensional scene. Lacking it’s own corporeality the image thereby becomes inextricably entangled with (and on) the surfaces of the collection of objects in the space – whose extra dimensionality tends to complicate rather than explain.

The third installment of Gallery MOMO Cape Town’s annual video exhibition, ‘Be Kind. Please Rewind’ was a group exhibition of local and international artists who engage with history and memory through the medium of film and video. By grappling with personal histories and collective memories, nostalgia, and storytelling, the videos in this exhibition seek to explore the various complexities of video’s relationship to the construction and perception of history and memory.


‘Bona Fides’ Group show at Jan Royce Gallery
5 – 30 July 2016 (Cape Town, South Africa)

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“The last stones” exists somewhere in the spectrum between archeological artifact and postmodern forgery. The combination of the overt formal repetition with their more subtle textural differentiation creates a sense of unease as we are forced to question the objects’ validity and authenticity. This in turn plays into the long history of stone inscription in its myriad forms – from ancient carvings to colonial postal stones – used to legitimize ways of knowing and thereby construct our realities. Furthermore, both the title of the series and the use of wood ash as a material remind us of the ultimate instability and impermanence of everything that is ever deemed to be ‘true’.


‘New Monuments’ Group show at Commune.1
6 – 23 April 2016 (Cape Town, South Africa)

NewMonument’s: Exploding the Monument and Considering Radical New Ways to Occupy Public Space

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View exhibition catalogue

Martin Wilson’s Ashcastle (2016) grapples with a growing sense of anxiety and disenchantment stemming from the recent student protests around South Africa. He employs the sandcastle, often a child’s first foray into creating a monument, as a symbol for innocent optimism (for the future, for freedom and for a place where right and wrong are clearly distinguished). The sandcastle is also recognized as a marker of privilege, pointing at a childhood filled with leisure, wealth and opportunity. By casting the sandcastle out of grey caustic ash instead of golden-yellow beach sand, Wilson’s intention is to disrupt the original optimistic dream and replace it with instability and a subtle disquiet. In general, Wilson’s use of ash alludes to notions of ruin, of the ultimate impermanence of human significance and of the unavoidable trauma required for meaningful transformation.
(Extract from exhibition catalogue by Commune.1)