by Nonhlanhla Mkwanazi
I Am The Unindexable
Art is the most intense mode of individualism
the world has ever known.
My work attempts to examine the phenomenon of individuality in a Collectivist society through the metaphorical representation of the index and indexing.
This idea began as a personal journey of questioning the involvement of our societal and cultural systems in the shaping of ones’ identity and perceived individuality. Throughout this process, the project has translated into works where I have painted images of myself onto the pages of old books, in an attempt to turn each image into its own index. The mixed media Indexes represent a failed experiment of turning something visual into something inherently text based, rendering it unindexable. The familiar imagery allows for a visual connection between systems and individuality.
The work was presented as a wall installation where an element of sound is introduced into the work via an audio work titled I am unindexable. (see below*) This serves to draw the viewer into my musings around ways to index the unindexable. This has in turn become the soundtrack for the video work Unindexable, an animation of one of my drawings.