Dimakatso Mathopa

BIOGRAPHY

Dimakatso Mathopa is a contemporary visual artist born in 1995 in Mpumalanga, South Africa. Mathopa is currently living and practicing in Johannesburg, South Africa.

She obtained her B.tech at the University of Johannesburg in 2019. Her body of work, Individual Beings Relocated consists of cyanotype prints but she uses other printmaking techniques such as Van Dyke Brown and Silkscreen. Her process of art-making begins with conceptualized photographs, documented in a colonial space and eventually transformed and minimally manipulated into cyanotype prints. Mathopa is highly concerned about the representation of black women within photography, therefore she aims at using her work to influence and challenge the norms of photography. She achieves this through subverting the colonial gaze and emphasising on the importance of the black subject occupying space regardless of the societal representation. Although primarily a printmaker, Mathopa explores other art mediums like photography and painting.

 ARTISTS’ STATEMENT

My body of work interrogates the representations of black women and colonialism in order to question historical representations of black women. I do so by unpacking the historical representation of the black subject and the stereotypes that have instigated these representations of black women in a South African context.

The recent continuous series, ‘Individual Beings Relocated’ (2018-2020), reconstructs how colonialism has influenced the representations of a black woman, I do so through the process of photographing myself in a ‘colonial space’ and transforming the photographic images into cyanotype prints. 

In these images, I perform the role of the “black subject” and reimagine it through the use of my semi-naked body. The process of photographing myself in the space and manipulating the images into a cyanotype prints speaks to notions of reimagining colonial representations of the black female through subverting the imperial gaze.