Turiya Magadlela largely employs tights in order to evoke racial and sexual discrimination, as well as femininity and eroticism. Magadlela’s use of textiles also calls attention to (skin) colour, as well as referring to the context of South Africa, with allusions to black magic and fetish dolls. Her contribution to the biennial, S’Maidical, is a series of giant tapestries made of tights, which covers the ceilings, resulting in a cave-like structure. Throughout the opening week, as a performance, she will sew tights on a sewing machine in the exhibition space, calling attention to labour conditions, gender disparities, as well as the intertwined histories of sexually and racially grounded violence and abuse.

Turiya Magadlela (b. 1978, Johannesburg, South Africa) is based in Johannesburg. Her practice has been shaped by the city, by the people, politics, violence and passions within it, and she translates her experiences into her fabric-based works. Magadlela selects commonly-found fabric, including pantyhose and overalls from prisons, and stretches them over canvas, creating abstract compositions through the manipulation of the textiles. Since being awarded the FNB Art Prize in 2015, she has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions both locally and internationally, including Blackness in Abstraction, Pace Gallery (2016) and Blue Black, curated by Glenn Ligon, Pulitzer Arts Foundation (2017).

EXHIBITED WORKS

Ntombi Zohlanga (Daughters of the Nation), from Four Five series, 2019
Pantyhose tapestry
600 × 600 cm
Courtesy the artist.
Commissioned by the 16th Istanbul Biennial.

Ntombi Zothando (Daughters of Love), from Four Five series, 2019
Pantyhose tapestry
600 × 600 cm
Courtesy the artist.
Commissioned by the 16th Istanbul Biennial.

Ntombi Zeqiniso (Daughters of Truth), from Four Five series, 2019
Pantyhose tapestry
600 × 600 cm
Courtesy the artist.
Commissioned by the 16th Istanbul Biennial.

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