The HealersLSHTM logologo: Africa 05 in collaboration with BBC
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Loulou Cherinet
Cyprien Tokoudagba
Zwelethu Mthethwa
Tracey Rose
Abdoulaye Konate
LSHTM homepage
video still of Tracey Roses' video

South Africa, b. 1974

Tracey Rose completed her studies in fine art at Witwatersrand, Johannesburg in 1996. In much of her work, she investigates questions of gender, sexuality and race, reflecting on the rapidly evolving society in South Africa and beyond. Like Cherinet, Rose explores the body as a locus of artistic representation and of gendered constructions of identity, often through the visual motifs of her own body. Rose is of mixed race, exposed to different sets of culturally conditioned gender and racial identities which are defiantly explored through the vulnerability of her own body.

Tracey has presented performances at the 2nd Johannesburg Biennale, the 49th Biennale in Venice.

The video work on show here is something of a departure from Rose's previous work. Completed during Rose's residency at the LSHTM, the video reflects on different traditions of religion as mediums of spiritual - and often physical - healing. The piece is characteristically political as well as contemplative. The video 'Waiting for God' was shot on the Mount of Olives, a place sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims. The viewer watches a character climb up the hill and sit, waiting between the domes of a Christian church and a Mosque, at one point taking on the form of a third pillar or dome. This meditative piece containing references from Beckett to Sunra, is particularly poignant when the sound of the prayers of the mosque is succeeded by the chimes of the church.

A second work, also completed during the residency, was shown for the Opening Night.The video is called 'San Pedro IV - The Hope I Hope'. The character San Pedro has made appearances in Rose's previous work. In trademark fishnet tights, tiara and pink skin, she makes allusions to St. Peter, 'ideals' of beauty and masquerade. San Pedro is seen playing the Haticva, the Israeli national anthem, against the backdrop of the wall dividing Israel and Palestine - the 'Apartheid Wall'. This wall can be seen to present a form of political hygiene; a symbolic barrier to chaos, to the pollution of the one side by another.