Innovative and eclectic band The Brother Moves will be hosting their first performance and installation exhibition at Goodman Gallery on Saturday the 24 of September, Jami Ella spoke to lead singer Siyabonga Mthembu to find out about the exhibition titled Hlabela: Its a New morning Nkush, their recent European tour and whats next for the band.
The spirit of collaboration is what drives your upcoming exhibition. Can you give us an idea of what it is about this collaborative spirit that inspired you to incorporate different mediums such as installation and performance into your work for the exhibition?
The use of different mediums has less to do with the collaborative spirit but is rather about the gallery giving us licence to be. The gallery has always maintained that sales of our output was never the point.
"Hlabela: It's a New Mourning Nkush" contains the idea of both birth and death. It's also a specific reference to your founding member Nkululeko “Nkush” Mthembu. What would you like visitors to the exhibition to take away from this dual concept?
Emotional currency and a space for further dialogue about our space, art and how conservative South Africa is.
Working in a gallery space is different to that of a stage or music space. Could you elaborate on the impact of this on your creative process?
You could put us anywhere and our creative process will make its own space.
The Brother Moves On has consistently played a role in disrupting entrenched ideas of the black experience. If you were to be putting on a show in an art gallery space a decade from now, what would you like or expect to have changed in your exhibition, the audience, the space itself and the context in which you are showing?
The audience, our gallery was always interested in how we are getting the next generation of art lovers to the gallery, they may not be the buying audience but their cultural capital holds weight.
The band recently returned from a month long tour including performing in Paris and various parts of the U.K. What was the experience like and how were you received?
We just did Marseille, Paris, Berlin and criss-crossed the UK. We have a room dedicated to this tour which is curated by our tour manager Ghairunisa Galeta who is the daughter of the amazing South African jazz pianist Hotep Galeta.
Being such an innovative band we have to ask what is next for The Brother Moves On?
The Brother will move on regardless but I'm going on paternity leave as my baby girl is coming to this world. We owe SA and the world one last album and need to travel to the US and Canada in 2017 as we are re-releasing A New Myth on vinyl.
Be sure to catch The Brother Moves On at Goodman Gallery Johannesburg this Saturday, 24th September at 6pm for their performance and installation exhibition Hlabela: It's a New Mourning Nkush.
Check out the event page here.
Photography: Brett Rubin
Interview: Jami Ella Gavin