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Mary Sibande

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Artwork by Mary Sibande
Mary Sibande, A Reversed Retrogress, Scene 1, 2013 Courtesy of the artist and SMAC Gallery
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Curated by Matthieu Lelièvre

Mary Sibande explores the construction of identity in South African society and stereotypical representations of women. Her sculptures depict the figure of Sophie, her “alter ego”, the archetype of the black domestic maid during the apartheid era, inspired by her own personal story (several generations of women in her family worked as maids). By allowing her work to evolve through cycles of different symbolic colours, little by little, Mary Sibande transforms Sophie’s maid uniform into a ball gown. Mary Sibande’s remarkable work will occupy an entire floor of the macLYON.

The artist was selected to represent South Africa in the 2011 Venice Biennale and had her work shown at the macLYON for the 12th edition of the Lyon Biennale (2013). She is the subject of a solo exhibition at Somerset House in London until 5 January 2020.

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