Dan Halter

Untitled (Painting) (Video Size variable)

Untitled (Painting) (Video Size variable)

Artist's Statement

Untitled (painting) is a loop of found footage of an apartheid-era protest. Framed as a painting by the flat-screen monitor, this mesmerizing scene plays out endlessly. The footage has been slowed down and runs forwards and backwards in one loop. In this way a small slice of time repeats continually, like a fractal. This plays on Jean Baudrillard’s idea of historicity and the end of a linear history.

Space Invader (Johannesburg Taxi Rank): My experience as a white Zimbabwean, now living in South Africa, informs my practice. Recently I have been dealing with the 8-bit Space Invaders motif, designed by Tomohiro Nishikado in 1978, and the Chinesemade plastic mesh bags that have become synonymous with refugees all over the world. Frequently named after a particular immigrant demographic, these bags are dubbed ‘Ghana Must Go’ bags in Nigeria, ‘Guyanese Samsonite’ in the Caribbean, ‘Bangladeshi Bag’ in the UK, and recently ‘Zimbabwe Bag’ in South Africa. Filmed at a Johannesburg taxi rank, a port of entry for many ‘amakwerekwere’ (a common but derogatory, if not racist, term for immigrants from the rest of Africa), my video shows a Space Invader comprising these bags making its way.

Artist's Biography

Born: Harare, Zimbabwe, 1977. Lives and works in Cape Town. Received his BA(FA) from the University of Cape Town in 2001. Major exhibitions: Joao Ferreira and South African National Gallery in Cape Town; Derbylius Gallery, Milan, Italy; Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (NBK); VideoBrasil in São Paulo, Brazil; 10th Havana Biennale, Cuba.