One hundred years ago the SS Mendi sailed towards the English Channel and France. On board was a battalion of South African labour troops. There was a collision and the ship sank. No assistance was offered to the drowning men and over 600 lost their lives. Memory of the disaster faded in the turmoil of the Great War.
In the exhibition the story of the Mendi is used as a pars pro toto. It stands for a larger story that leads the viewer towards the complex history of South African segregation. Wendy Morris revisits the public memory of the loss of the men of the Mendi in an exhibition in which animated film, video, poetry and experimental sound explore the boundaries of past and present, myth and reality. This, of course, is a work of the imagination.
Mu.ZEE, Ostend, Belgium. Sept 09 2017 – Jan 07 2018. Curators: Mieke Mels, Dagmar Dirkx