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No Fixed Abode

  • The New Church Museum 102 New Church St Cape Town, WC, 8001 South Africa (map)

It is all very well to go travelling, but one of the inescapable consequences of letting go or getting lost is that you can never really go home as the same “someone” that you were before. During the history of Modernity, most people thought the loss of “home” was a tragedy: today, art suggests it may sometimes be one of life’s little necessities.
– Kobena Mercer

This spring The New Church Museum presents No Fixed Abode, an exhibition curated by Candice Allison, that features the work of a diverse group of African artists, all of whom present works that address the ephemeral nature of home. A fundamental characteristic of contemporary art is the constant movement of artists and artworks, curators and cultural producers, ideas, concepts and information. Thomas McEvilly describes this as cultural nomadism, referring to persons who regularly travel, migrate, cross boundaries; who literally have no fixed home. Using this as a starting point, No Fixed Abode offers a platform for dialogue about how artists negotiate notions of home, nationality and identity in a globalised world, and includes a combination of works drawn from The New Church Museum’s permanent collection, on loan from private and corporate collections, or produced especially for the exhibition.

Drawing on the museum’s setting within a converted house, many of the works included are concerned with shifting attitudes towards family, community and hospitality. The common thread running through the works is an ambiguity, an unease that seems to underlie the ideals of home, an acceptance, and ultimately, a letting go.


Igshaan Adams | Malala Andrialavidrazana | Berry Bickle | Dineo Seshee Bopape | Jacques Coetzer | Meschac Gaba | David Goldblatt | Haroon Gunn-Salie | Dan Halter | Moshekwa Langa | Gerald Machona | Mario Macilau | Misheck Masamvu | Serge Alain Nitegeka | Mauro Pinto | Athi-Patra Ruga | Barthélémy Toguo |
Sue Williamson | James Webb