Additional Images

“I am driven by the need to unearth, unmask and unveil the mysteries hidden within the depths of the self, beyond race, class, religion, sexual orientation, and gender. Who am I, beyond my identity?”

The formal influence of Islamic iconography is writ large in Adams’s practice. His Parda series concerns itself with the artist's marginal status as 'colored' as classified under Apartheid legislation; as part Christian and part Muslim; as a homosexual and free-thinker in a predominantly conformist culture. He is also by vocation an artist, which is an anomaly in his community where the Hadith (the ban on all forms of representation) remains in force.

Plate 7 is an Islamic burial green cloth decorated with yellow Koranic verses and images of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem and the Kaaba in Mecca, shrouded by a body of Rorschach’s inkblots. The work originated from Bismillah, a performance consisting of the Islamic cleansing ritual performed on a corpse before burial, usually by the closest same-sex relative. During the performance, his father cleansed and wrapped Igshaan's body in three sheets of white linen and positioned it on the green burial cloth. Ever since Igshaan heard this precept from the final sermon of the prophet Mohammed, “Make sure you die long before your death”, he started questioning its real meaning, investigating and interpreting death as a medium of liberation. As the artist claims: “Only through darkness, we understand light”. In this context, Igshaan's symbolic death represents his search for a higher state of being. We cannot know what meanings Adams read into the Rorschach blots, and thus his own ambivalent responses to his culture, are not made privy to the viewer.
Sotheby's, Sale L22801 15, Lot 113, 22 March 2022
Tiroche DeLeon Collection, Gibraltar
blank projects, Cape Town, South Africa

22/01/2015 - 28/02/2015

Parda | blank projects, Cape Town

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2014

BLIND SPOT - Rhodes University | ViPAA—Visual and Performing Arts of Africa

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2014

Igshaan Adams, ‘Bismillah’ (2014) Blind Spot performance art program curated by Ruth Simbao

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5 February 2015

CAPE TOWN Igshaan Adams BLANK PROJECTS | Sean O’Toole

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9 March 2015

Faith and Ambiguity Igshaan Adams Parda | Artthrob | Lloyd Pollak

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25 January 2021

Beaded Affairs: Igshaan Adams by Rahel Aima | McKenzie Wark | Rahel Aima

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May 12, 2022

Serge Tiroche, Jaffa | Collector Spotlight | ÌMỌ̀ DÁRA | ÌMỌ̀ DÁRA | Adenike Cosgrove

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Jul 21, 2022

Africa First! Serge Tiroche | Art Africa

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