The title of this work ‘Sehalalelo’, which means ‘A place of sanctuary’ in Setswana speaks to queer bodies and their relationships to spirituality and fantasy. I question these relationships between fantasy, spaces and belonging by projecting video footage of Alexandra township onto my body and by doing so, I distort, reconstruct and re-imagine the space, thus allowing me to heal the trauma of being a queer body from the township, and to reclaim such spaces as a queer body.
THIS WORK IS BASED ON...
The work ‘Sehalalelo’ is an extension of my performance installation titled ‘1st Avenue Roosevelt street Alexandra’ 2019. In this work I projected video footage of Alexandra township onto an installation made up of Victorian wallpaper and my naked body as a way to speak about the performativity of gender as vulnerable. The work re-imagines township spaces as intimate and it therefore speaks to these notions of re-imagining alternative spaces for queer bodies. ‘Sehalalelo’ grapples with these concepts of re-imagining spaces through recreating an installation as an online experience.
Neo Diseko is a Johannesburg-based visual artist. Diseko obtained their National Diploma in Fine Art (2016) and a BTech (2017) from the University of Johannesburg. Their artistic practice explores themes around the performativity of gender and its multiple dimensions. Diseko explores these themes in various mediums including painting, installation, video and performance. They have participated in a number of group shows, competitions and workshops including the 2019 Talent Unlocked with Assemblage Art, and the 2018 ACBC with Bag Factory and Art Source South Africa. In 2019 Diseko was shortlisted for the prestigious David Koloane Award and presented a performance piece titled ‘(Inbetween)’ at the Under_line art fair in Johannesburg.