CAPE TOWN ART FAIR 2023
FIRE AND REIGN: WORKS BY MICHA SERRAF
TOMORROWS/TODAY: IN AND OUT OF TIME, BOOTH 8
CAPE TOWN ART FAIR 2023
Fire and Reign:
Works by Micha Serraf
Thursday, February 16 -
Sunday, February 19, 2023
Investec Preview: February 16
12 - 1:30 PM
Collectors Preview: February 16
1:30 - 6 PM
Vernissage: February 16
6 - 9 PM
Public Fair Days: February 17 - 19
11 AM - 7 PM
Micha Serraf was born in Zimbabwe in 1994, and he and his family were forced to flee to South Africa when he was nine years old. Although he now lives in Cape Town, the notion of “home” for Serraf is complex, layered with the memories, dreams and experiences of childhood displacement. His perspective has been simultaneously rife with fear as well as the confidence instilled by his mother’s purposeful cultivation of a loving and fun environment amidst the chaos of instability. In this collection of his photographs and needlepoint tapestries, Serraf exhibits an austere elegance and a sense of nostalgia that conjures the serenity that was so often missing in his life alongside the underlying darkness.
The landscapes he captures in both film and fiber are imagined, embodying symbols of ancestral totemic shapes and structures against a backdrop of clean horizon lines, mountains, clouds and bodies of water, daring the viewer to look beyond the troubled aspects of his narrative to the more timeless elements that reside within his story.
In Serraf’s photograph, If it’s not important, leave it, the barbed wire is a reference to its ubiquitous presence on the border between Zimbabwe and South Africa, while the fire is symbolic of both the devastating practice of “necklacing,” as well as rejuvenation and rebirth. Other photographs and embroidered works are documentations of six three-meter high wooden totemic sculptures of varying forms that Serraf installed on a highly restricted South African military base, exploring notions of who has control of the land and environment.
Through the depiction of the imagined landscapes of his past and present, Micha Serraf poses broader questions about the search for one’s identity and personal power while documenting his own quest for safety in a historically complicated region.
About Investec Cape Town Art Fair
Co-curated by Natasha Becker and Dr Mariella Franzoni, Tomorrows/Today aims to highlight artists who will be tomorrow’s leading names. The 2023 Tomorrows/Today section is titled “In and Out of Time”: a homage to the renowned African-American poet Maya Angelou’s touching poem about everlasting love and suffering.
“In and Out of Time” is a way to embrace the most intimate experience of the temporal dimension - a flow that establishes itself as objective, regular and unchanging, but that is relative to the subject’s mind and emotions and to its social settings. Time is not only relative but also inherently relational. We make time for the other and time is the best gift you can give to your beloved ones. And then, there is memory, one of the multiple dimensions of time, so much embedded with History and collective remembrance. All of this and much more is in the curatorial scope of Tomorrows/Today 2023.