Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year, 2019
South African multimedia artist, gender advocate, and 2019’s Standard Bank Young Artist award winner for Visual Art, Gabrielle Goliath (b.1983), brings her new work, This song is for… to Cape Town. Following its successful run at the Makhanda National Arts Festival and the Standard Bank Art Gallery, the work moves to the Iziko South African National Gallery, where it will be presented as an immersive audio and visual installation.
This song is for… is made up of a unique collection of dedication songs – playing sequentially, and each one chosen by a survivor of rape. These songs are of personal significance to the survivors – songs that take them back to a particular time and place, evoking a sensory world of memory and feeling. As collaborators on the project, the survivors shared not only their songs, but also a colour of their choosing and a written reflection. Goliath also worked in close collaboration with a group of women and gender-queer led musical ensembles to reinterpret and re-perform the chosen songs.
Speaking to the work, Goliath reflects: “In a work like This song is for… I am seeking to resist the violence through which black, brown, feminine, queer and vulnerable bodies are routinely objectified, in the ways they are imaged, written about, spoken about… What I have in mind is a more empathic interaction.”