Wezile Harmans

by Wezile Harmans


»›The Body. The Voice.‹ is a series performance work that studies the development of a human body. The work focuses on the body's relationship with familiar and unfamiliar spaces. The work is divided into 3 scenes using video, live performance and installation. These scenes take us through to lived experiences and tragic events that occurred/occurring across the world, how the body finds itself to adopt, evolve and immense itself through these uncomfortable and difficult trials.

During my residency at the PACT, I was focusing on developing scene 1, how does the body rescue itself from tragic events. I use the Mediterranean sea incident of push backs and immigration as my reference. According to the Business Insider US »Greece secretly sent away more than 10,000 migrants, abandoning them on the open sea«.

In my practice is influenced by research based subjects that reveal human behaviour in communities and the impact of knowledge transmission towards our surroundings. In my practice, I create works that engage with memory, reality, displacement and landscape. These somewhat universal themes are dealt with in my work by highlighting the peculiarity of experiences and developing ideas duration as a way of creating deeper conversations.

This deliberate highlighting of bodies into existence in my practice relates to the relationship we have with our surroundings. I develop this by creating empowering conversations that forge new directions in the face of various forms of marginalisation and exclusion from public and social spaces Working on such issues sheds a light in my vision on revealing the impact of human behaviour and through materials and equipment’s, I suggest, the more socially relevant the idea of knowledge transmission and access to spaces using art, the more likely this knowledge is known and longer it will be remembered. The way it is remembered has its influenced to find ways to react in a specific way that benefit the community and the individual.« – Wezile Harmans

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Video credits: Project research manager: Julius Brüntink Camera: Desirée García López Lighting: Rainer Nilius 

Wezile Harmans (b.1990, Port Elizabeth) is an art practitioner whose interdisciplinary practice encompasses performance, film and installation as a tool for social change. His work confronts prejudices and advocates against social inequality and creates a platform for critical self-reflexivity within unwelcoming spaces. Wezile’s work is influenced by how things have come to existence, as well as motivations behind certain movements, reactions, human behaviours and mostly how these become symbols. Wezile’s noted international projects include video performance with the LEAD Project at LSE Firoz Lalji Institute for Africa, ›M1/M2‹ highway billboards feature by Centre for the Less Good Ideas, a film by Human Rights Defender Hub (CAHR) at the University of York, an acquisition of works by the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum and a collection by the Art Bank of South Africa. In 2022 his project ›Umdiyadiya‹ received the ›Creative Collection: Best Visual Art Award‹ by The National Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences (Johannesburg).

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