AN AFRICAN IN THE NORTH--~ The Status of Greatness ~

To all my friends around the globe...

You are kindly invited to the Swiss Edition of my body of work ~ The Status of Greatness ~

Be there and also don't miss the official opening party CHIC AFRIQUE.

Looking forward to welcome you on board, in the harbour of Basel.

If you unfortunately cannot make it, send on the invitation to friends that might.

If you can just let me know and I will put you and whomever on the guestlist.

Best regards all the way from Switzerland.

~ Xander ~
give a listen to his musical side --

writer for the mail and guardian -south africA

Blame Nandos but South African TV has a new hero. Call him the “yapping, benign and slightly ridiculous dictator” or Idi Incarnate. And like his namesake, he’s everywhere. "We've been Having It?” Boy have we ever! So much so that if a buffoon break-dancing to “Brrrrrrrrrr,” leaves you cold in the light of the Zimbabwe crisis and the xenophobic attacks you’re pretty much alone. Vodacom received only a paltry handful of complaints about their Idi piss-take. “The vast majority,” claims the Cellphone Giant, “love it”. Nothing wrong with that, right? After all we celebrate Zapiro’s wry satirical send-ups of politically buffoonery. Sure, but as theorist Achille Mbembe tells us, it’s a slightly different story when we cross into the popular domain: “It is with the conscious aim of avoiding such trouble that ordinary people locate the fetish of state power in the realm of the ridicule; there they can tame it or shut it up and render it powerless. This done, the fetish takes on the status of an artefact that is a familiar friend, a member of the family, for the rulers as for the ruled.” Mbembe’s point is that via ridicule, ruled and rulers enter a promiscuous relationship; a "convivial tension" of familiarity that results in the mutual "zombification" of the dominant and the subordinate.

It’s directly in this fraught space that electronic pop artist Xander Ferreira, a.k.a. Gazelle stages The Status of Greatness, his first solo exhibition comprising a selection of staged photographs, performances, installation, video and sculptures best described as Pieter Hugo meets Monty Python. According to Ferreira, the works are concerned with unpacking and actively coercing the mechanics of political and cultural celebrity unique to numerous African states post-independence. A piss-take of the piss-take? Or is Ferreira simply cashing in on the latest exotic “African” cool-but-kitsch bandwagon? Hard to tell, but whatever the case, it’s a fashionably timely intervention worth checking out – just remember to wear your safari suit.

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