Christine Dixie shows at the Venice Biennale


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Christine Dixie
Christine Dixie

Christine Dixie has been invited by the European Cultural Foundation to show her installation To Be King at the Venice Biennale. This installation forms part of the exhibition Personal Structures hosted by the GAA Foundation at the Palazzo Bembo and Palazzo Mora and will run from 13 May to 26 November 2017.

About the Artist:
Christine Dixie (South Africa, 1966) completed her under-graduate degree at the University of the Witwatersrand and graduated with her MFA from the Michaelis School of Fine Art, Cape Town. She is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Fine Art Department at Rhodes University.

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She has had numerous solo exhibitions; The Gendered Gaze (1993), Parturient Prospects (2007), The Binding (2010) and To be King (2015). Her international group shows include Earth Matters: Earth as Metaphor curated by Dr. Christine Kreamer (2007) and Divine Comedy: Heaven, Purgatory and Hell curated by Simon Njami (2012), both of which opened at the Smithsonian Museum of African Art. In 2007 she had a mid-career retrospective exhibition Corporeal Prospects that was held at The Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg.

Her work is included in national and international collections including The New York Public Library, The Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, The Standard Bank Gallery, The Johannesburg Art gallery, The Durban Art Gallery and the Iziko Museum of Cape Town.

The project To Be King is the culmination of a sustained body of work over a five-year period. It is a multi-media installation that questions the status quo.

The painting Las Meninas by Velasquez (1565) and a subsequent essay on the painting by Foucault (1966) have been the impetus in developing this project. It is the insights into structures of power, social and psychological, represented by Velasquez and analysed by Foucault, that Christine Dixie used as entry points into this project.

“As Dixie’s work To Be King recontextualises the masterpiece template, Las Meninas … roles are taken on, reversed, doubled, relocated to the backdrop of a classic colony, the Eastern Cape. Dixie’s animations and multimedia interventions … offer thought by way of a radical re-vision. What if, she says? What if the Infanta was black, and stood outside the frame of the picture? What would make this possible, what transmutation of thought and representation? How would it change things, if the Southern Cross was the constellation guiding the centres of political power and the rules of representation?” (Excerpt from an essay on the work by James Sey).

“Christine Dixie received an internationally competitive Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship which she used to research and develop the content of her current project, To Be King.

“Our institution is heavily invested in this project and thrilled to see the sophistication with which the artist has achieved this technically and intellectually complex time-based media installation.” – Dr. Karen Milbourne, Senior curator, The Smithsonian National Museum of African Art

To Be King
Room 16, 2nd Floor, Palazzo Bembo, Venice, Italy.
13 May to 26 November

Christine Dixie will be present in Venice during opening week. Please contact the gallery if you would like to meet the artist or attend a talk or VIP event during the Venice Biennale Vernissage 11 to 13 May 2017.

Christine Dixie talks about ‘TO BE KING’


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