Hasan and Husain Essop are artists whose work will be exhibited as part of the ‘Athlone in Mind’ exhibition at the Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town, from 10-13 August 2017. This upcoming exhibition of commissioned contemporary art is a group show curated by Dr Kurt Campbell. The exhibition, book and digital platform take the place of Athlone to explore new ways of imagining and thinking about marginalised sites of creativity and art production. ‘Athlone in Mind’ engages diverse artistic practices, cinematic experiments and scholarly essays that explore the challenge to artistic practice for imagining space in ways that exceed and undo apartheid’s spatial formations and temporal markers. The artworks, videos, digital and photographic installations and essays in the book constitute Athlone as a question through an expansive, fluid and composite conception of the relationship between images, thought and place.
Hasan and Husain Essop are twin brothers (born 1985, Cape Town) and currently, live and work in Cape Town. They graduated from the Michaelis School of Fine Art at the University of Cape Town in 2006 with a Bachelor of Fine Art, majoring in Printmaking and Photography respectively, and a Postgraduate diploma in Art in 2009. Recipients of the 2014 Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Visual Art, they exhibited their collaborative photographic series Unrest at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum, Standard Bank Gallery, National Arts Festival and Iziko Museum, among other venues in South Africa. Recent exhibitions include Remembrance at Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg (2012), Indelible Marks at Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde, Dubai (2011), Figures & Fictions: Contemporary South African Photography at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (2011) and Peek-a-boo Current South Africa at Helsinki Art Museum, Finland (2011). Their works are held in several private and public collections such as the Deutsche Bank Collection, Spier Art Collection, Durban Art Gallery and Iziko South African National Gallery.
Hasan and Husain Essop will offer large format high-resolution photographs that fix and disrupt our view of those who traverse Athlone on a daily basis. Hasan and Husain Essop produce large format digital images and often include themselves in the compositions. They are committed to interrogating ideas of nationalism and indigeneity. These artists have previously produced work related to the suburb of Athlone and the attendant challenges those who live there face daily.