18 March - 21 May 2016
Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation presents an ambitious moving image project titled WYE by the South African artist and Magnum photographer Mikhael Subotzky. WYE comprises an intersecting three channel, immersive video presentation juxtaposing visions of 19th Century colonial history, an ambivalent and perhaps traumatic present day, with an imagined dystopic future. Collapsing these three narratives and three time zones into one mesmerising filmic experience, the audience is taken on a journey through South Africa, Australia and the heart of the British Empire – England.
Working with German cinematographer Jörg Schmidt-Reitwein (Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu the Vampyre and Woyzeck), Subotzky shot WYE on location in South Africa, after two years of developing the artwork’s expansive, time-shifting narrative. A specially constructed, spatially engaging audio component complements the arresting visuals of WYE, immersing visitors in a site of temporal and geo-cultural collapse.
Go behind the scenes of the WYE install and hear Gene Sherman & Mikhael Subotzky discuss the project in this short film.
Mikhael Subotzky was born in 1981 in Cape Town, South Africa, and is currently based in Johannesburg. Subotzky’s film, video and photographic works are concerned with the relationship between social storytelling and the formal strategies of image making.
Subotzky’s works have been exhibited and collected by The Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim in New York, as well as the Victoria and Albert Museum and Tate Modern in London. He has received, amongst others, the 2012 Standard Bank Young Artist Award, the 2012 Discovery Award at Arles, the 2009 Oskar Barnack Award and the 2008 ICP Infinity Award. Previous monographs include Beaufort West (Chris Boot, 2008), Retinal Shift (Steidl, 2012) and Ponte City (Steidl, 2014), which recently won the 2015 Deutsche Börse Photography Prize. His work was recently included in All the World’s Futures at the 56th Venice Biennale.
Subotzky’s first major film installation, Moses and Griffiths 2012, has been exhibited at Palais de Tokyo (Paris, 2013), Yale Art Gallery (New Haven, 2014) and Art Unlimited (Basel, 2014), and was recently acquired by the Tate Modern.