How is your work shaped by life in Africa?
Mpane: I was asked by a University of Maryland student, ‘What kind of piece are you going to do tomorrow?’ I said, ‘Even before thinking about tomorrow, let’s live the moment.’ I believe that to think like that comes from living in poverty or exposed to poverty. Those conditions enable me to live with a lot of intensity and not think about tomorrow. That’s what you see in the exhibition. That’s what I do with my art.
One of the stereotypes about Africa is that there is only bad news. How does your art work against that stereotype?
Ole: For me, this is an important issue, because if something positive happens, the press never pays attention.
Mpane: It’s true that we only mention the negative aspect of this country and that’s a reality. But every civilization has gone through difficult periods. I try to be positive and make something with what I have. Even in a place where there is nothing, we will still produce art. It makes us stronger.