Lebogang Mogul Mabusela’s work draws on capitalism and consumer products to interrogate the idea of the art object and value in thingumabobs, while strategically roasting patriarchy by making work that subverts the gender norms perpetuated by Sepedi-setswana proverbs and realised in stories collected from childhood memory and experiences.
In my work I do this by forging a Makoti: A bridal gifts shop that sells Makoti Technologies™,which are guns made from paper. In this making I made these guns that manifest feminist theory and radical killjoy behaviour as tools that dismantle gender norms and patriarchy and also grant women mythical superpowers and enhance desires.
Makoti was established in 2017 and puts my practice in the realm of performance, sculpture/installation and printmaking. In this practice I am the designer and manufacturer of the guns, tools and technology thus making me the inventor for Makoti Technologies™. In assigning these objects functions I draw on black feminist theory and tenets from texts by Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, Pumla Gqola, Sara Ahmed, N’gone Fall, Danai Mupotsa etc. And observed behaviour from women who challenge patriarchy in how they live everyday, and I also assert my own attitudes and irreverence in what they do.
My work also extents to making monotype prints that use the doily also known as place mats to challenge the idea of the black woman logic in the domestic space, but also introduce women such as bo mama ba rona as conscious and unconscious gate keepers and perpetuators of patriarchy. In the brand of Makoti Technologies™ the prints do not act in the same way as the guns but as typical artwork that happens to occupy the space of the shop. The making of these prints position me as a monotypebabe™. *
With makoti bridal gifts shop I am giving the audience or consumer an idea, a concept of a black woman. But this black women you are receiving is not what makes sense according to societal norms.
Ke go fa makoti e leng mosadi mara o a seng ka mokgwa o mo tlwaetseng.
*monotypebabe is a babe [but low key i am also reclaiming the ever condescending names that men call us, the honeys, sweeties, ndoni, my skaat etc. babe sounded cool] , as feminine and as dainty as the doily but different in a sense that this babe becomes willful, irreverent and shifts around from where she is placed. A monotypebabe stirs the shit at the dinner tables and interrogates female propriety with their special fervour for monotypes. She kills the very fantasy of happiness.
Monotype refers to a printmaking technique, because of my special love and interest in monotype printing. And a babe posits me as a black woman in a male dominated world overall, in printmaking and the arts. A babe is also a rookie and a noob, because I am interested is travelling all over the world to the best print studios out there to have a monotypebabe adventure.