Phoka Nyokong is an artist, curator, writer and researcher. His work has a transdisciplinary focus on performance, sound/video and installation, photography, painting, drawing, storytelling, curating and writing.
In his project Prospecting for Stories: Object in story, Story in Object, Nyokong imagines the stories of several families. From accounts based on real events and real persons, he also relies on the imagination, and especially on how it has informed ideas of nationhood.
Prospecting for Stories: Object in story, Story in Object.
There is a harsh and unsettling omission that strikes me as all too familiar each time I try to listen to and discover stories about us, by us, for us. It weighs too heavily on me so that I need to respond to it.
I want to imagine the stories of several families, perhaps of the one huge family that we are. From accounts based on real events and real persons. I rely here on the imagination, and especially on how it has been informed by the very affect from being of this nation. The feel I have for story, which I share with many other people, has had on me a life-changing perception and yearning to unravel the story, especially in the postcolony and in the postmodern artistic impulse, as shaped by life in the black townships and villages.
To begin this story here, I confide in objects. These objects are what I imagine containing the stories that are the substance of the collective seekers that we are. So, these objects here are both fictitious and factual. They are fictitious only in as far as their configuration in this narrative. I place them here to suggest imaginative incidents and experiences of the community. Secondly, they are factual because they are drawn from the realm of what would inform the everyday life of us…
Still image: Installation shot of Phoka Nyokong's Prospecting for Stories: Object in story, Story in Object. Photograph courtesy of the artist.
Institute for Creative Arts
University of Cape Town
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