MR SOMEBODY & MR NOBODY
NOVEMBER 9, 2013 – JANUARY 11, 2014
MR SOMEBODY & MR NOBODY is an important businessman from the Gold City in Southern Africa. He drives a Luxury German sedan with his insignia on all four doors. His two personal assistants, Heidi and Sharon, keep his official badge nice and shiny so it catches the glint of his gold filling when he flashes a smile and the sun is setting on his lapel. They hold his umbrella over him as the heat beats hot hot and tune out the static when songs about lost love and leaving home play on his radio. Together the three make unpredictable-things-of-beauty that exude Afro-Cool-Universal-Style to sell in their Afro-Pop-Up-Shops to all types of discriminating tastes.
“If you wait long enough, even an egg will start walking,” is the title of the most recent installation by two artists intrigued with the trichotomies of our “developed,” “undeveloped” and “un-developing” world. South African born Heidi Chisholm and Sharon Lombard reside in the USA and hawk humorous African wisdom along with its encouragement and perspective that just plain old “cheers you up.” Working collaboratively, Chisholm and Lombard present the gleaming world of Mr Somebody & Mr Nobody. These (female) gents are bringing a “souvenir stand” to town, filled with designed walking sticks, staffs; flags, plucked wood chickens, bucket seating, khangas and more. The public is invited to experience the installation and purchase objects. A portion of sales will be donated to the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD.)
The company name, Mr Somebody & Mr Nobody is based on an isiZulu proverb, “He arrives Mr. Somebody and he leaves Mr. Nobody.” The proverb raises existential questions regarding transition, change, making a home, making do and maintaining hope despite the certain uncertainties of life. As immigrant artists Chisholm and Lombard (and their wares) playfully grapple with personal identity construction, navigate shifting politics and constantly revise their ideas about culture and cultural production.