Churchill Madikida
Interminable Limbo

12 May - 19 June 2004

"In my art I try to focus more on histories, such as my history as an individual and also as part of groups, such as ethnic identity, nationality, and also about my global identity. For the past three years I've been using different mediums such as drawing, painting, sculpture, and printmaking in trying to address my themes (recently I have also been incorporating performance). My art is autobiographical and mostly deals with my Xhosa heritage (one of the South African ethnic groups) as a form of positive identity and self-imagery. It is also directed to the general public at large so that they may learn about my culture.

"I reject some people's confinement through censorship that restricts our choices about presentation. Through my art I aim to make society understand itself, to risk self-examination, to address issues, attitudes, and behaviors, and finally to challenge itself to be open to change. I grew up being taught a very narrow, one-sided version of our South African history, an inaccurate, boring myth that excluded my ancestors. I choose to reclaim the past, to explore my history and to work as a storyteller about our past and present. Through making images I connect the past to the present. It is my way of knowing what I know, a way to uncover how, where, and why I learned it, and a way to unlearn it.

"I think that in a society that preaches democracy and multiculturalism, it is important to have an art that expresses and illustrates diverse perspectives, even if it means producing visual images that some people might not like. I would like to believe that my culture is not interested in converting other people to our culture and belief system, but I think it is important that it should contribute to the human society in sharing its philosophies, ideas, and value systems.

"I belong to those artists who are critical and while crossing boundaries, change themselves, their art, and contribute to changing others' perceptions, imaginations, and visions about the world. I am not so naive as to think that one artist and his artworks can change the whole world, but I can safely argue that we as artists can influence and contribute in the discussions and debates about issues that lead to certain major changes in the world's perceptions about certain things."

Churchill Madikida



Blood on my Hands Series


Lullaby for Saluka Series


Lullaby for Saluka I


Lullaby for Saluka II


Lullaby for Saluka III


Struggles of the Heart I


Struggles of the Heart II


Struggles of the Heart III


2005 Michael Stevenson. All rights reserved.