Fragments No.2 // We have eyes to see but do not see

Road between Aus and Lüderitz, Namibia 1992 © Abrie Fourie

FRAGMENTS #2 Intervention

Opening: April 27
Exhibition: April 28- June 4, 2017 | Thursday-Sunday 2-7pm

Wir haben Augen, um zu sehen, aber sehen nicht // We have eyes to see but do not see – Continued Meditations on the Colonial Orbit.Colonial Neighbours invites you to the second edition of FRAGMENTS – a series of interventions of SAVVY Contemporary´s archive project.

>Wir haben Augen, um zu sehen, aber sehen nicht // We have eyes to see but do not see< a series of photographic and video works by South African artist Abrie Fourie will open in parallel to the upcoming exhibition Opening: Everything is Getting Better | Polish Colonialism at SAVVY Contemporary

FRAGMENTS is a series of interventions where artists, researchers and activists are invited to engage critically with colonial histories and legacies. Paticipators are asked to use the content in the Colonial Neighbours archive as a point of departure in creating a response which critically contributes to the context of the archive.

In the second edition the South African artist ABRIE FOURIE explores the notion of meditations on places and landscapes, and the juxtapositions held within them. The images confront you both with what is visible and invisible which speak back to the unknown and known histories of colonialism. The imagery at first glance reflect a surreal beauty of the island and the Namibian and oceanic landscapes which becomes even more surreal once placed in relation to the history of these spaces.

In his contemplative photographs of the Gorée Island, the Namibian desert and the oceanic landscape – water and land emerge as formations of colors, light, shadows and textures but simultaneously reflect on them as places of fear, death, war and resistance.

His photo series HOUSE OF SLAVES, GORÉE ISLAND is a photographic approach to a place that is connected to the remembrance of European colonialism and the Atlantic Slave Trade. Gorée Island is a small island off the coast of Dakar, Senegal, which became one of the central departure point for the European of African slaves. Nowadays, the island serves as a pilgrimage destination for the African diaspora to remember this history of violence and displacement.

Parting from the Door of No Return on Gorée Island, the Atlantic waters became the ground of the Middle Passage – the deportation of million of enslaved African to unknown and hostile lands. These waters reappear in Abrie Fouries dreamlike OCEAN, a solemn and immersive encounter with dark waters and our own gaze. Mirroring ourselves, we become part of its metaphorics of past and present passages, of personal and collective projections on the sea, yet locating us back in the here and now.

Fourie’s Namibia series was taken in the early 90’s which saw a whole lot of political change in both Namibia and South Africa. The images become a reflection of this poltically transitionary moment.

Fourie also invited his son Raoul Fourie and fellow artist Lukas E.D. Cvitak to re-install the archival collection Colonial Neighbours in order to subvert the way we look at these objects.


Abrie Fourie (1969) is a South African artist based in Berlin, Germany. He was born in Pretoria, South Africa where he lived, studied and worked until emigrating in 2007. His practice is largely photography based, but he is also active in teaching, publishing and curatorial projects. As an artist he is keen to explore diverse and alternative avenues, though specialising in photography and digital media, Fourie is not bound by a specific genre. Rather he is focusing on finding ways to best express or investigate ideas, experiences and concepts, whether personal, political or universal, working in response to the immediate environment and culture.

Curated by: Lynhan Balatbat, Jorinde Splettstößer, Marlon Denzel van Royen
With: Abrie Fourie




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