THE HALFWAY LINE – A SOLO EXHIBITION BY BAHATI SIMOENS
Cape Town, South Africa – Botho Project Space is proud to present from 16th to 19th of February 2023, Bahati Simoens’ first solo show in South Africa through a Halfway Line through history.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
With ‘The Halfway Line’, a western love-story, Bahati is offering a black-owned story that explores the black cowboys narrative anchored in a South African context. By re-inventing a vision of a community, she shines a spotlight on the whitewashing that Hollywood spread around the Black cowboys.
Throughout history, all the cowboys and renegades on horseback offered by the entertainment industry were marvellous utopias of white heroism. Western movies were meant to capture the essence of America, including the freedom of the open frontier and the self-determination of man through the figure of the cowboy himself, commonly understood to be an excellent shot who rides horses and who, above all, is white. That’s what Hollywood has tried to make the public believe for many years but the true origin of cowboys comes in the 16th century with the Hispanic community. In the 1800’s, the cowboys then became mainly people of colour who were given the work by the white American. The full visual language that was developed by the black cowboys has since, been taken away to create this figure that Hollywood sold to the world.
Today, with the Halfway Line, that could be the titled of a new Western, Bahati Simoens gives us a revised version of a community of Black cowboys from South Africa that would allow women to ride horses and be these figures of freedom and self-determination. Through an unapologetic love letter to the Black body, Bahati celebrates Black cowboys and white weddings amongst these signature characters that are giving us a critical rereading of how history can be told and pictured.
Playing a pivotal role within the culture space by introducing new audiences to different art forms, the exhibition will be powered by disruptor brand Jägermeister.
“Jägermeister will always believe in supporting the arts. Whether it’s music, fashion or even art, these all form a huge part of our community. As a brand we aim to be the ‘Arts and Culture Department’ of the streets. Over the past few years, The Botho Project Space has built and showcasing exceptional South African artists and culture so this partnership make sense for us,” affirms Jägermeister Kulture and Experimental Marketing Manager Ephraim Manana.