July - August 2018 — Visual Arts
Dan Halter is on a two month residency at Rote Fabrik in Zurich. He will be exploring the oddly symmetrical phenomenon of balancing rocks in both Switzerland and Zimbabwe, as a basis for the development of a new video work which explores ideas of stability and balance on a social, economic and political level in each context:
“Balancing rocks and rock balancing connect Zimbabwe and Switzerland. Zimbabwe is well known for its balancing rock formations. One outside Harare is found on many of Zimbabwean bank notes, leading them to be dubbed ‘Domboremari’ – the money rocks. In Switzerland I have seen a tradition of people balancing rocks in picturesque settings such as by Lake Zurich and in the mountains. I intend to learn the skill of rock balancing from someone with the skills in Switzerland. Then I hope to make a video showing a formation of balancing rocks tumbling down in slow motion. This video could loop forwards and backwards so that the rocks appear to balance themselves again before falling to the ground again. In the background I hope to have a beautiful Swiss setting.”
Halter was born in Zimbabwe in 1977. In 2001 he graduated from the University of Cape Town with a BAFA. He describes himself as follows: “I am a Swimbabwean: a portmanteau of Swiss-Zimbabwean. Portmanteau originally meant suitcase, which in my case is quite apt. I was born and grew up in Zimbabwe, but both sides of my family have Swiss roots. This foreignness has always left me feeling a bit like an outsider both in Zimbabwe and in Switzerland. My work deals with my sense of dislocated national identity, human migration and the dark humour of present realities in Southern Africa.”
His solo exhibitions include ‘Take Me to Your Leader’ 2006 (João Ferreira Gallery, Cape Town), ‘Mafuta Farm’ 2017 (Dillon + Lee, New York), Zimbabwean Traffic 2017 (Skövde Konstmuseet, Skövde, Sweden) and Patience Can Cook a Stone 2018 (Whatiftheworld / Gallery, Cape Town).