South Africa Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

MADEYOULOOK, Dinokana, 2024. Courtesy of MADEYOULOOK.

April 12, 2024
Quiet Ground
April 20–November 24, 2024
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South Africa Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
Sala d’armi nord
Venice Venice
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The South African Pavilion at the 60th Venice Biennale 2024—entitled Quiet Ground—presents a multidisciplinary sound installation by artist collaborative MADEYOULOOK, made up of Molemo Moiloa and Nare Mokgotho. The South African Pavilion is curated by Portia Malatjie.

Quiet Ground features a newly commissioned sound installation by the artists MADEYOULOOK, Dinokana (2024). The installation is the result of seven years of research in the northern part of South Africa, on histories of land work, traditional infrastructures of land repair and their connections to repair of society more broadly.

Dinokana takes as its point of departure the histories of Bahuruste and Bakoni and their experiences of cycles of displacement and return. These peoples—and their sites of rebuilding and land-based rehabilitation—serve as markers for navigating psycho-social repair through the land, for contemporary South Africa and beyond. Dinokana features references to learnings about historical infrastructures of recovery and traditional water technologies used to rebuild the villages and communities of Bahurutse and Bakoni.

Rain in the semi-arid context of South Africa, and indigenous technologies of its calling and dispersal, are fundamental to historical and contemporary strategies for making life. Dinokana references long-held spiritual connections to water and land, and generationally inherited modes for its manifestation. In these traditions, land and rain are in themselves, indistinguishable from one another and their combined power holds its own subjectivity. Drawing on knowledges developed from historical and contemporary black life, Dinokana explores ways of repairing our relationships to land and rain—but also of ourselves—after cycles of loss and forced disinheritance.

The central piece of the Dinokana installation is an 8-channel sound composition that foregrounds the power and place of rain and water in traditional South African society. Working from historical archive of songs of rain and harvest, the sound piece brings together field recordings of the natural landscape, interviews with generations of land workers, healers and family memory—framed within the structure of a Johannesburg thunderstorm. The sound piece is held within a constructed landscape, referencing the terraced hillsides of Bokoni and a rain-scape made up of resurrection plant clippings. The “resurrection plant” (uvukakwabafile in isiZulu, umazifisi in isiNdebele or Myrothamnus flabellifolius) is characterised by its use in African medicine and traditional cultures but also by its representation of the potency of rain in repair and regeneration in Southern African life.

Set against the backdrop of histories of forced migration and land dispossession in South Africa, Quiet Ground is focused on the possibilities of personal and communal repair in a context of being “foreign at home.”


The  20min sound work begins on the hour and again at half-past the hour.


About the artists: MADEYOULOOK is a Johannesburg based interdisciplinary artist collaborative between Molemo Moiloa and Nare Mokgotho. The works of MADEYOULOOK take as their point of departure everyday black practices that have either been historically overlooked or deemed inconsequential. These works encourage a re-observation of and de-familiarisation with the everyday of urban South African life. MADEYOULOOK were DAAD Artists in Berlin fellows 2022/23 and lumbung artists at documenta fifteen.

Commissioner: Ambassador Nosipho Nausca-Jean Jezile
Principal Sponsor: The South African Department of Sport, Arts and Culture 

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South Africa Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
April 12, 2024

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