XENOS by Jyoti Mistry

  • 28/04/15 – 16/05/15
  • Time: 18:00
  • Venue: Michaelis Upstairs Gallery, Hiddingh Campus, 31-37 Orange Street, Cape Town
  • Contact: Nkule Mabaso on 021 480 7170

Xenos is a triptych that explores various themes of foreignness. It invites the question of time across geographical spaces to consider of what is termed alien or exotic and how over time what is foreign comes to be assimilated and be made “natural” over history.

Xenos 1 explores the idea of botanical histories and looks at the introduction of Jacaranda Trees to South Africa from Brazil. Over the last 100 years these trees are now considered part of the geography of the landscape and they form an indelible part of South African identity. Xenos 2 reflects on the bionic evolution of human form and the development of cyborg theory as a way of exploring the future of the human possibility. Xenos 3 considers the relationship between language and the ability for humans to create modes of expression that signify a desire to mark existence. In this sequence filmed in the Cradle of Humankind in South Africa, there is an interrogation of the various meanings of language and its necessity to describe existence.

Projected as a triptych this work is what Bruno Latour calls a paradigm shift in knowledge production that reconnects the co-existence of Nature, Society and the virtues of Deconstruction as a suggestion for “true” modernism to emerge.

Jyoti Mistry

Jyoti Mistry is able to move seamlessly between filmmaking and installation art practices. She has made critically acclaimed narrative, documentary and experimental films. Mistry’s installation work draws from cinematic traditions but is often recontextualized for galleries and museums that are outside of the linear cinematic experience.

Impunity (2014) her narrative feature had its international premiere in Toronto Film Festival, and went on to be programmed for its European premiere at Stockholm Film Festival and African Film Festival in Lagos. Its is scheduled to have its local South Africa release late in 2015 in South Africa.

Le Boeuf sur le Toit (2010), a feature length experimental film (premiered at Durban International Film Festival) and forms part of an installation project on cities. It was part of a retrospective on transgressive South African Cinema at the Jeu de Paume, Paris (2013). Mistry’s installation Itchy City was included in the exhibition Afropolis: City, Media, Art in Cologne, Germany, and the installation piece titled 09:21:25 was part of the exhibition Space: About a Dream at the Kunsthalle Wien in Austria, and in competition at Kurzfilmtage Winterthur (2011).
In 2013, her solo exhibition “Narrative, Memory, Site” included works: XENOS, Building the Invisible City; Commuting; Le Boeuf Sur Le Toit at the Barengasse Museum in Zurich.
Mistry has also had solo shows at the ARTS ON MAIN space Goethe on Main and her work has also been included in the Incheon Women’s Biennal, South Korea (2011).

Mistry is an Associate Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand, School of Arts in Johannesburg. She has taught at New York University, University of Vienna, and Arcada University of Applied Science Polytechnic in Helsinki. She has been visiting professor at California College of Arts (CCA), Babelsburg Film School (Berlin, Germany) and SAOS in London. She has also published widely on the topics of multiculturalism, identity politics, and on race and memory.