COUNCIL OF NON- HUMAN BEINGS
In this work, Dr Sechaba Maape challenges Western modes of representing the landscape, and instead draws on his experiences as an indigenous South African, and the past ten years focused on an embedded exploration of how indigenous communities in South Africa, and specifically his Setswana speaking community see the landscape. In this community the land is a living being, more specifically the great water snake. Maape builds on this principle, the notion of being alive or vitality, creating dialogue with the early scholars of the Negritude movement including Fanon and Sartre's critique of Negritude, and especially Leopold Senghor’s interest in the vital force.
In seven large scale digital stylus drawings, which in themselves are the outcomes of an embodied process of clay sculpting, charcoal drawing, and acrylic painting, Maape explores texture, colour, pattern, form, and the animate, as well as meaning, language and notational systems to generate works that express the cultural life of the landscape similar to those created by his ancestors. However, he also makes use of contemporary experiences and influences including those of visual creatives like Mmakgabo Helen Sebidi and her grandmother, Credo and Virginia Mutwa and their magic, Peter Rich and Pancho Guedes including the many Africans, particularly women that their work depended so much on, as well as urban culture like hip hop and the new South African musical genre of Ama-Piano to create what Maape calls Kuru-mytho-futurism.
Combining these influences with the indigenous knowledge of his home, he generates works that question the way we see the earth that we design and build on, and proposes a practice that seeks the council of all beings, human and non-human in the production of architecture, and proposing that it is in reframing concepts like ‘context’ or ‘site’ that we may be more responsive to our current planetary crises.