Raél Jero Salley shows “Promise”

  • Posted: May 21, 2013

Iziko South African National Gallery Annexe from 23 May until 21 June 2013

Iziko Museums of South Africa, through its Education and Public Programmes department will host the exhibition, Promise, by Raél Jero Salley, in association with the University of Cape Town’s Africa Month. The contemporary art exhibition presents new artworks that draw from past and present events in South Africa’s visual archive.

Promise conveys the rich history and cultural heritage of southern Africa and draws on historical archives and collections. The aim of the exhibition is to commemorate and celebrate Black experience while provoking dialogue about the spiritual, material, intellectual, and emotional aspects of South Africa. Salley presents works of art that imagine everyday life—past and present—with a mixture of awe and excitement.

Through a new series of paintings, he seeks to produce moments in which viewers may actively imagine and produce new visions. “Imagination is a key feature of everyday life; it shapes our visual culture and is indispensible to social and political activity,” comments Salley. Seeking to challenge inherited labels, Salley’s pictures offer moments in being and social belonging. The works explore ways of seeing, interpreting and understanding.

The exhibition concept offers an urbane lifestyle experience. The opening event features live musical performance by Bokani Dyer of Dyertribe music—artists committed to promoting South African culture and innovation globally.  The exhibition opens at 18:30 on Wednesday, 22 May at the Iziko South African National Gallery Annexe, St’ Johns Road and runs until 21 June. Gallery hours are 10:00 – 16:00, Monday to Friday.

 For more information contact rael.salley@uct.ac.za or 021 481 3961.

About the artist:

Raél Jero Salley is an artist, cultural theorist and art historian. He holds a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, a Masters in Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a PhD from the University of Chicago. Salley’s artwork, research, and writing focus on African and African diasporic art, Blackness and visual culture. He is currently Senior Lecturer at the University of Cape Town’s Michaelis School of Fine Art.  http://www.raelsalley.com.



Iziko Museums of South Africa (Iziko) operates 11 national museums, the Planetarium, the Social History Centre and three collection‑specific libraries in Cape Town.  The museums that make up Iziko have their own history and character, presenting extensive art, social and natural history collections that reflect our diverse African heritage.  Iziko is a public entity and non-profit organisation that brings together these museums under a single governance and leadership structure.  The organisation allows *free access to all individuals on commemorative days, (*excluding the Castle of Good Hope and Planetarium). Visit our webpage at www.iziko.org.za, join our online community on Facebook (www.facebook.com/IzikoMuseums) or follow us on Twitter (@Iziko_Museums) for regular updates on events, news and new exhibitions.




  • Human Rights Day: 21 March
  • Freedom Day: 27 April
  • International Museum Day: 18 May
  • Africa Day: 25 May
  • Youth Day: 16 June
  • National Women’s Day: 9 August
  • Heritage Week: 21-27 September
  • National Aids Awareness Day: 1 December
  • Emancipation Day: 1 December
  • Day of Reconciliation: 16 December
  • Castle of Good Hope and Planetarium, free only on International Museum Day and Heritage Day 

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