Oratile Papi Konopi

Oratile Papi Konopi is a multi- disciplinary visual artist, writer and exhibition maker born and currently residing in Meadowlands, Soweto, Johannesburg. Constantly migrating on a daily basis between multiple communities had a lasting impact on how Konopi made sense of himself growing up in a “post” apartheid South Africa. These experiences are present in Konopi’s work and practice, which engages with ideas of identity, gender and sexuality- with a close emphasis on masculinities. Ênê (2017-), the Setswana genderless pronoun referring to “him” or “her”, is an artistic body of work which Konopi initially developed as a way to begin to explore what he understood as a “matrix of masculinities”, and ideas which surround the masculine. The work became saturated with endless entanglements, ambiguities, contradictions and multiple potentialities of ideas around gender and sexuality.

In this beautiful chaos, Bua Le Ênê (2018-) began to develop. This is a continuation of the Ênê series and focuses mainly on gender relations, thinking through the site of popular imagery and language to foreground a conversation around constructed gender relationships and how they are negotiated on a daily basis of people’s lived experiences. Konopi recently completed his BFA Professional Degree in Fine Arts at the University of the Witswatersrand. Konopi is a curator and integral part of BKhz Studio & Gallery, located in Braamfontein in Johannesburg. To read more about his work, click HERE

Big Belly Blessing (2019)

Digital print on archival paper, Ed \1/2

31,7 x 44 x 5 cm