Tracey Rose was born in 1974 in Durban, South Africa. She holds a Master of Fine Art from Goldsmiths College, University of London (UK) and received her B.A. in Fine Arts from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg in 1996. She was trained in editing and cinematography at The South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance in Johannesburg.
Rose belongs to a generation of artists charged with reinventing the artistic gesture in post-Apartheid South Africa. Within this fold, she has defined a provocative visual world whose complexities reflect those of the task at hand.
Refusing to simplify reality for the sake of clarity, the artist creates rich characters that inhabit worlds as interrelated as the many facets of a human personality. Her reference to theatre and the carnival tradition also places her work in the realm of satire. As such, it has consistently questioned and challenged the prevalent aesthetics of international contemporary art, the emergence of a dominant cultural narrative of struggle and reconciliation in South Africa and also post colonial, racial and feminist issues in the wider world.
Working with performance, often for the camera, Tracey Rose places her body at the center of her practice. She inhabits the roles given to Africans, to African women, and to women in a male dominated world, swallowing stereotypes whole. In her quest to understand the source of these cultural meanings that define the human condition, Rose is inevitably led to religious myths of creation. The scope of Rose’s work is not limited to the boundaries of South Africa, and it has indeed quickly found a global, humanist resonance.
Rose has exhibited and performed widely both at home and internationally, including the South African National Gallery, Cape Town; Johannesburg Art Gallery; Dakar Biennial in 2000 & 2016; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg; The Project, New York; Venice Biennial, 2001 & 2007; The Haywood Gallery, London; The Brooklyn Museum; Tate Liverpool; Bildmuseet, Umea; and most recently Museo Reina Sofia; WIELS Brussels; Dan Gunn, Berlin; EVA International, Limerick; the São Paulo Biennial; Biennial of Moving Images, Geneva; Museum of Modern Art, Buenos Aires; Documenta 14, Athens & Kassel.
Exhibitions at the KZNSA
Mating Birds Vol.2
Main, Mezzanine and Media galleries