Moffat Takadiwa: “Foreign Objects” at the Tyburn Gallery (4th Nov 2015)
This private view was the one I was most looking forward to, looking at Moffat’s work on the website and reading a bit about the ideas behind his work linked with my practice with the idea of the readymade and production. The gallery was tucked away in the corner of a square I have been dozens of times before without noticing it, which shows how important keeping an eye on galleries and exhibitions is. The exhibition was less grand than Liu Juanhua’s but no less interesting, if anything the slightly smaller space made you feel closer to the work, with a less intimidating atmosphere. We wondered round the gallery taking in the work, questions forming in our minds. I really wanted to ask Moffat about weather he considers the production of the work to be integral to the work as a whole, and how these vast forms where created, if he did it alone or enlisted the help of others. Once these questions popped into my brain I needed to know the answers not only out of curiosity but also because they are questions that are emerging in relation to my work and I wanted the opinion of someone else working with similar themes.
As a result I did not want to leave without talking to him, three of us hovered around Moffat whilst the other two went to find the curator, this divide an concur method paid off as the curator introduced us to Moffat, explaining that we where art students and that if he had a few moments we had some questions.
In minutes Moffat came over to us, introduced himself and opened with asking us where we study. We asked him wether he considers the form of the work prior to making the work, he said that he does not start with a form in mind, the form develops as its made. The only pre considered element is the theme. Moffat sets out to make work with the idea of a bid to make the work with a non european narrative/ no narrative. He talked about his culture, that everything is imported into Zimbabwe, and that his work is designed to export them material back into Europe as art. As for my question he agreed that the production of the work is as important to him as the work, he employs rubbish pickers to help string together the work and collect the material, it forms a community of people who make the work possible. He said that the selection and process is important in realising the work.
During our talks Moffat kept getting pulled away to talk to other people, but to his credit he kept returning to us. Our final question asked wether he knows when a piece is finished and if it was difficult to know when to stop. Moffat said that it came with practice, he has maid work where he has overworked it and kept going but they came overpowering and too much about the materiality of the work. He finished by giving us the curators card and saying to contact her if we had anymore questions.
This private view was more successful than the last, the whole atmosphere of the place was much more friendly and approachable, and thanks to our experience at Pace Gallery we found the experience less daunting.