Generally, less is more. This is certainly not a rule but rather a lens that simplifies our vision. The thinking goes that by getting rid of the clutter we can get to the point of the message. This is certainly a line of thinking in contemporary art which is often defined by clean minimalism.

Yet there is a certain amount of ambivalence in such a contemporary moment when reduced to its bare essentials. Characterised by a neglectfulness of the past, the search for constant reinvention of these base essentials becomes a vacuum that has no history and therefore cannot grasp its own future.

The way to the future is not to consider the past as the realm of the dead but instead to grasp the possibilities of new life. This week explores this through three questions framed firstly by globalisation, and the “vexed matter of Europe in an African imaginary” in Ashraf Jamal’s essay on Letter to Europa currently on at WHATIFTHEWORLD.

Then Andrew Lamprecht reflects on the way domesticity can be used as a device to frame the conversation between contemporary art and a historical context in his review of Michael Godby’s exhibition “Home Truths: Domestic Interiors in South African Collections” currently on view at the Iziko National Gallery.

Finally, in Perspectives Igshaan Adams reflects on his show “Oorskot” at Blank Projects which takes its cue from the mortal remains of a person or the surplus material that is left behind in old ideas.

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