Posing as the domestic worker Sophie, South African Mary Sibande creates majestic self-portraits. In these works, she honors the women in her family who worked as household helpers for generations. In the use of color, the choice of materials and the pose with closed eyes, Sibande refers to the stereotypical image of the black woman in South African society. The project is an indictment of the legacy of the oppressive colonial regime and is increasingly about a dialogue about resistance.
Mary Sibande (1982)
Mary Sibande lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa. In her art practice she uses various media, such as sculpture, photography and painting. With these disciplines she wants to clarify the construction of identity in post-colonial South Africa. She also often speaks about the stereotypical image of the woman in images. She represented South Africa at the Venice Biennale in 2011, won several prestigious awards in South Africa such as the Smithsonian National Museum of African Arts Award and was eligible for highly valued residences in the United States. Her work has been exhibited worldwide and is part of several prominent collections.