Francois Knoetze is a Cape Town based performance artist, sculptor and filmmaker. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Art from Rhodes University and an MFA from Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town. His series Cape Mongo (2013-2015) formed part of the Grahamstown National Arts Festival Main Programme in 2015 and Design Indaba’s Global Graduate Programme in 2016. Group exhibitions include A Secret Rancour –Notions of Resentment at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgium (2017), U/Tropia at the Wiener Festwochen in Germany (2015), and Designing Futures at the Lagos Photo Festival (2015). In 2015 Knoetze was featured as one of Mail & Guardian’s ‘Top 200 Young South Africans’.
Knoetze’s work retraces the life cycles of discarded objects and explores junctures between material and social histories. In his Mongo* sculptural suits, the synthetic is welded to the human – bringing focus to the objectification of persons through the personification of objects. By inserting himself into the circuitry - the fable - of the object-becoming-abject-becoming-object again, his work seeks to reconcile the fate of things. This process is ongoing, with the knowledge that there can be no resolution to the narrative of consumption and waste. Instead, what we encounter in our daily lives is the rapid contraction of a thing’s useful/uselessness; the steadily shortening distance between the fragrance of novelty and the odour of the rubbish bin.