Measuring Modernity

Cristian Nae
Fri, November 10, 2017 to Sun, December 10, 2017

Jeannette Unite’s solo show proposes an investigation on the processes of visualisation, surveillance and codification of territory and the materiality of capital, taking as a starting point the South African mining history. In her artworks, industrial history is being turned into a personal archeology of the country’s fraught colonial past. Her artistic research on mining, local geological strata and industrial machineries opens wider thematization of the post-colonial condition and the effects of modernity.

The exhibition setting uses various media and visual instruments such as painting, drawing, and a photographic archive which supported her research in order to reflect on broader topics such as the post-industrial condition, the anthropocene of the material history of global capitalism.

The selected artworks are similar in size and are usually made by manual intervention on a photographic image or a painterly reproduced archival document with precious materials and detritus extracted from the represented mining sites. Thus, they are constructing non-places of memory, situated at the intersection between nostalgia and utopia, between personal memory and collective memory. The thus obtained self-referentiality of the images paradoxically undermines the impersonal logic exemplified by the seriality of the artworks exhibited in grids, opening new forms of negotiation of the common.