Jacki McInnes - Filthy Rich / Dirt Poor
On show until May 31
Jacki McInnes’ exhibition Filthy Rich / Dirt Poor interrogates the deeply inequitable status of contemporary South Africa and Johannesburg’s informal recyclers play a leading role. Their back-breaking work is undoubtedly for the betterment of society and yet they are subjected to extreme levels of stigmatisation and marginalisation. With this in mind, McInnes’ research centres on ‘value judgements’: in the first instance as these pertain to trash but, more especially, as they extend to the city’s recyclers themselves.
The recyclers are evoked by means of painterly depictions of a damaged mining landscape. Using mine dump dirt and shredded South African bank notes, stark outlines speak to the lives of the mine labourers who came before and to the recyclers who continue to work this landscape for meagre wage. The paintings are built up in layers to echo the wan colours of Johannesburg’s southern periphery – once the source of such great underground wealth but now just the repository of surface waste.
The exhibition forms part of the artist’s submission towards a Creative PhD in the Wits School of Arts.
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