Live Virtual Auction, 5 - 6 April 2022
Incl. Buyer's Premium and VAT
About this Item
"In her earlier series I am Royal, Petersen focused on the aspect of her past that enabled her to push forwards with confidence. Drawing from her relationship to Imam Abdullah Ibn Qadhu Abdus Salaam or Tuan Guru—the respected teacher and Father of Islam in South Africa—she stressed her royal lineage and her heritage of anti-colonial protest. Having garnered strength by relaying her narrative of royalty and protest rather than starting with the narrative of slavery, Petersen felt ready to face the pain embroiled in the remnants of her past. Travelling to Surat in India, which was a directorate of the Dutch East India Company in the 17th century, she visited the mausoleums of the men who forcibly moved her people from Indonesia to the Western Cape.
The Dutch and British mausoleums in Surat reveal power-hungry competition and exaggerated grandeur that far exceeds the simplicity of the grave markers these men would have received back home. Strikingly regal and statuesque, Petersen plants herself upon these graves, trailing a red train behind her that symbolically dredges up violence that this imposing architecture attempts to conceal. Viewed from outside the mausoleum in Remnants 3, she seems dwarfed by the enormous tomb, but as she enters (Remnants 4) she takes over this colonial space with a towering splendour that overpowers the skewedness of dominant stories and inclines the remnants of her past towards renewed inner strength."
https://www.whatiftheworld.com/exhibition/remnants/#saman-2016-2, accessed 20 February 2022.
Everard Read, Cape Town.
Everard Read, Cape Town, Thania Petersen: Remnants, 9 February to 5 March 2017.