Jozi-pocalypse is the newest edition by Zhi Zulu made in collaboration with the David Krut Workshop.
In a world beyond the concrete jungle of Johannesburg and mysteriously void of people, The Curious Five roam across a dystopian landscape, navigating remnants of the past. Inspired by the artist’s experience of African stories told for tourists and foreigners, the preceding series The Curious Five is a humorous take on stereotypical, usually inaccurate and fantastical tales that foreigners sometimes believe – of wild animals walking the streets of Johannesburg, or people keeping them as pets.
Expanding on the collaboration, Zhi and DKW collaborator Roxy Kaczmarek worked closely with expert silkscreen printer Cloudia Rivett-Carnac to produce the largest and most complex of Zhi’s editions to date. Jozi-pocalypse consists of twelve silkscreen layers printed on tea-stained paper, meticulously tested by Rivett-Carnac, which creates the antiquated look of a found artefact. Zhi has a skilful knowledge of how to balance seemingly mismatched colours, which was especially considered in the silkscreen process – resulting in some surprising results, beyond the artist’s control. This is common of the printmaking practice and was a unique experience for the digital artist.
Zhi states: “Jozi-pocalypse interrogates the symbols of representation in South Africa and explores the ideas of known symbols and infrastructure in Johannesburg. Some of the architecture such as the Joburg City Hall, the Soweto towers, the Drakensberg mountains, the South African flag and common street signs are explored. The artwork showcases the confusion we have as a nation about how to represent ourselves in this democratic era, bringing about questions around whether the way we have dressed up colonial structures with the new flag and pictures of Mandela is enough to portray a remedy to the political structures of the past. It questions whether the change of street names and structure names can in fact wipe away the uglier parts of our history rooted in Apartheid. In short, it is representative of our confusion around representation as a cosmopolitan and cultural land.”
Jozi-pocalypse is the fifth Silkscreen collaboration with the David Krut Workshop (DKW) with collaborators Roxy Kaczmarek, Jesse Shepstone and Cloudia Rivett-Carnac from Chocolate Ink Studio.