COLBERT MASHILE: Truth or Dare
Apr 6 – May 7, 2017
Colbert Mashile: Truth or Dare
6th April - 7th May
The culture of storytelling in South Africa has long been one of its hidden gems. Most traditional stories, like most folklore and fables universally, anthropomorphise animals in the service of a good story, and to deliver the message. It’s almost as if by presenting arguments through animals allows us to dissociate from specific judgements of the human being in question, and rather to focus on and better understand the human archetypes at play.
Colbert Mashile is a storyteller and unequivocally draws on this tradition although his works are almost infuriatingly post modern in their lack of ambition to definitively moralise. These are no unequivocal treatises, but rather poetic meanderings that set up anthropomorphised protagonists in suspended animation. The baboon, as a close cousin of humans, is an overwhelmingly recurring protagonist, in all his guises. Whether supine on a couch or wheelbarrow, or tucked neatly in a “wheely bin”, or, in the case of his collaboration with Wilma Cruise, in multiple incarnations variously lurking without intent in a Beckettian limbo, the baboons present a lugubrious inertia that almost ironically flips the metaphor and animalises the human.
Download the press release here