Comrades III, 2015

by

Meleko Mokgosi

Meleko Mokgosi. Comrades III. 2015

Oil on canvas. Diptych. 244 x 427 cm

Fondation Louis Vuitton Collection

© Meleko Mokgosi. Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town/Johannesburg

From left to right :

Meleko Mokgosi. Democratic Intuition, Comrades III. 2015

Oil on canvas. Diptych. 244 x 427 cm

Fondation Louis Vuitton Collection, Paris

Meleko Mokgosi. Democratic Intuition, Comrades VII. 2016

Oil on canvas. Diptych. 244 x 564 cm

Fondation Louis Vuitton Collection, Paris

© Meleko Mokgosi © Fondation Louis Vuitton / Marc Domage

The second part of a cycle entitled "Democratic Institution", the "Comrades" series originates in group photos—of school children or colleagues—from the years of Botswana’s fight for independence.

Mokgosi depicts these anonymous figures as they make history, and clearly demonstrates their sense of belonging to a community. They are comrades, “a word that has always referred to egalitarianism and has become a form of descriptive address that presumably goes beyond gender, race, ethnicity and class.” Rendered in negative drawing and written in Setswana – a language spoken in South Africa and Botswana and imposed by colonists in the 19th century – a text accompanies the painting. According to the artist’s wishes, the work remains inaccessible to most viewers: a story for some, abstraction for others.

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