Nolan Oswald Dennis

Nolan Oswald Dennis (b. 1988, Zambia) is an interdisciplinary artist from Johannesburg, South Africa. His practice explores what he calls ‘a black consciousness of space’: the material and metaphysical conditions of decolonization.

Born in Lusaka, Zambia and raised in Midrand, South Africa. He holds a Bachelors degree in architecture from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) and a Masters of Science in Art, Culture and Technology for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Dennis’ work questions the politics of space (and time) through a system-specific, rather than site-specific approach. He is concerned with the hidden structures that pre-determine the limits of our social and political imagination. Through a language of diagrams, drawings and models he explores a hidden landscape of systematic and structural conditions that organise our political sub-terrain. This sub-space is framed by systems which transverse multiple realms (technical, spiritual economic, psychological, etc) and therefore Dennis’ work can be seen as an attempt to stitch these, sometime opposed, sometimes complimentary, systems together. To read technological systems alongside spiritual systems, to combine political fictions with science fiction.

Dennis’ is the 2016 winner of the FNB Arts Prize, and has exhibited in various solo and group shows, including the 9th Berlin Biennale (2016), the Young Congo Biennale (2019), Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), Architekturmuseum der TU München, among others. He is participating in upcoming exhibitions at Palais de Tokyo (Paris), Le Lieu Unique (Nantes), and the Goodman Gallery, and is a 2020 artist in residence at NTUCCA (Singapore).
Dennis will be the next artist in residence at the Delfina Foundation, London from September 2021.

Goodman Gallery
notes for recovery (touch), 2020
Goodman Gallery
notes for recovery (hold), 2020

Goodman Gallery

In a time of massive global environmental threats such as climate change, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, and global health threats, Goodman Gallery's South South presentation in Johannesburg considers the connection between planetary transformations and human agency in relation to our current geological epoch, known as the Anthropocene. Referred to by some as the Capitalocene, this epoch has been defined by the impact of industrial development on the climate. This exhibition considers from a Global South perspective the impact of these human activities, tracing the historic and current extraction and exploitation of human and natural resources. Goodman Gallery is an international contemporary art gallery with locations in Johannesburg, Cape Town and London. The gallery represents artists whose work confronts entrenched power structures and inspires social change. Goodman Gallery has held the reputation as a pre-eminent art gallery on the African continent since 1966. It has been pivotal in shaping contemporary South African art, bringing Lisa Brice, David Goldblatt, William Kentridge, David Koloane, Sam Nhlengethwa and Sue Williamson to the world’s attention for the first time during the apartheid era. Since Liza Essers became owner and director in 2008, the gallery roster has grown by more than 30 international artists, with a focus on women from the African Diaspora and beyond. Goodman Gallery has a global programme working with prominent and emerging international artists whose work engages in a dialogue with African and post-colonial contexts. Some of these artists include Ghada Amer, El Anatsui, Candice Breitz, Alfredo Jaar, Grada Kilomba, Kapwani Kiwanga, Shirin Neshat, Ernesto Neto, Tabita Rezaire, Yinka Shonibare CBE, Mikhael Subotzky and Hank Willis Thomas.
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