South Africa Pavilion Announces Curator, Artists, and Exhibition Title for the 60th International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia

LEFT TO RIGHT: Dr. Portia Malatjie, MADEYOULOOK (Molemo Moiloa and Nare Mokgotho)

In anticipation of the 60th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia (20 April – 24 November 2024), the South African Pavilion is set to make a powerful statement with its exhibition titled “Quiet Ground.” Managed by the Institute for Creative Repair and curated by Dr. Portia Malatjie, the pavilion will showcase a newly commissioned sound installation, “Dinokana (2024),” by the acclaimed art collective MADEYOULOOK, composed of Molemo Moiloa and Nare Mokgotho.

“Quiet Ground” grapples with the historical narratives of forced migration and land dispossession in South Africa. The exhibition focuses on the potential for personal and communal repair within the context of feeling ‘foreign at home.’ These themes resonate with the celebration of 30 Years of Democracy in South Africa, acknowledging the nation’s ongoing efforts to address historical disruptions in indigenous people’s connection to the land.

The pavilion’s programming, under the theme “…because the land is ours,” unfolds through three pillars: Art in South Africa, The Land as Classroom, and Notions of Repair through Art. The exhibition and its parallel public programs delve into the diverse ways dispossessed communities reconnect with the land through rehoming and land rehabilitation rooted in indigenous knowledge.

This year’s Biennale theme, “Foreigners Everywhere (Stranieri Ovunque),” as curated by Adriano Pedrosa, finds a compelling complement in the South African Pavilion’s message of reclaiming land and fostering belonging through artistic expression.

2024 marks the 60th edition of La Biennale di Venezia and the seventh consecutive year for the South African Pavilion. La Biennale, established in 1895, stands as one of the world’s oldest art events, featuring over 80 countries and artists in individual pavilions.

In addition to the exhibition, the South African Pavilion will offer support through public programs, including digital content, events in Italy and South Africa, and a schools’ competition for young artists in South African secondary schools.


Dr. Portia Malatjie, a curator and senior lecturer in Art History and Discourse of Art at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town, South Africa, leads the curatorial efforts for the South African Pavilion. She also serves as an adjunct curator of Africa and African Diaspora at the Hyundai Tate Research Centre: Transnational at Tate Modern, London, UK.


MADEYOULOOK, an interdisciplinary artist collaborative based in Johannesburg, is the creative force behind the exhibition. Comprising Molemo Moiloa and Nare Mokgotho, MADEYOULOOK’s works draw inspiration from everyday black practices, encouraging a re-observation and de-familiarisation with urban South African life.


The Institute for Creative Repair, a newly formed ‘think and do tank’ based in Johannesburg, has been appointed to develop and manage the South African Pavilion for the 2024 Venice Biennale. Led by pioneering women Makgati Molebatsi and Veronica King, the institute aims to repair people, communities, institutions, and places through arts, heritage, and culture, fostering regenerative cultural ecosystems in Africa and the global south.

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