Robin Rhode. Memory Is The Weapon

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Robin Rhode’s artistic work is characterized by a colorful diversity in which the drawing and body are the focal point. The South African artist, born in Cape Town in 1976, works predominantly on walls or on the ground in public spaces, documenting his works with photographs and videos.

Rhode’s artistic work is shaped by a street-art aesthetic and the youth street culture of the socially troubled areas of Johannesburg, where he grew up in the era of South African apartheid. Although he now lives in Berlin, the past and present of his native land and of the “coloured” communities there remain an important element of his works.

The artist’s explosively colorful drawings and wall compositions, which take shape more or less spontaneously during the performances, can include acrobatic as well as melancholic and romantic elements. In Street Gym (2000), Rhode’s first drawing on the ground, which was transformed into a digital animation, the artist enacted gymnastics on a chalk-drawn horizontal bar. In The Moon is Asleep (2015), Rhode leans with a pillow against a black wall marked with the phases of the moon and shimmering ocean waves, drifting dreamlike through the nocturnal waters. More objectively constructive are his geometric wall compositions, which depict minimalist objects floating on the image ground. In his most recent work, Tree of Life (2019), Rhode paints flowers climbing up building facades in Jericho.

The exhibition shows a representative selection of works from nearly twenty years of Rhode’s artistic output. It is presented in cooperation with the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, which shows Robin Rhode’s works from September 29, 2019, to February 9, 2020.

Curator: Uta Ruhkamp, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg


Video tour with Robin Rhode

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