Growing up during Apartheid South Africa, classification systems not only informed my personal identity, but also regulated where I lived, where I was schooled, which benches I sat on, which seas I swam in. As a white South African, my perspective is shaped by an all-pervading awareness of my position within a legacy of exploration, scientific survey, occupation and oppression. I make work in response to systems of knowledge and power, particularly related to identity, race, geography and nationality.
I use photo-based theatrical narrative to grapple with these structures, staging acts of classification so as to undermine them. The evidential authority ascribed to photography makes it particularly formidable in influencing what is held to be true — and it has been used, since its inception, to measure and classify in order to control, govern and police. For all its claims of neutrality, however, the camera’s nature depends upon the powers which set it to work. By positioning myself against this nexus of representation and domination, I experiment with the fictive processes by which knowledge and identity are constructed; pointing to photography’s complicity in such endeavors.
Responding to historical, colonial and current imagery, my practice confronts visual culture and its role in both producing and dismantling social narratives. I seek to illuminate, parody, subvert and destabilize divisive structures — physical, geographical, social and ideological — breaking open the borders and allowing for more fluid ways of moving through the world.