DNA Strands exhibition – Blends of Existence

With photographs that come to life with silhouettes of two different pictures superimposed on one frame, Lukas Amakali has grabbed the attention of the arts world. This week the seasoned photographer opened his 9th solo exhibition with an array of works depicting his distinctive style of double-exposure photography at the Village Opera House. The exhibition is open to the public until the end of the month.
In this exhibition Amakali records two superimposed images on the same film to produce a special effect. Amakali creates blurry boundaries and brings to the foreground the beautiful simplicities of life by combining different subjects in one picture, telling stories of a diverse motherland with his photography.
Although some of the work is abstract, most of the photographs on exhibition have striking messages or blend perfectly together as if they were originally formed that way. A few examples of this include photographs such as ‘Rootsman’ in which Amakali utilizes the techniques of double exposure with great precision.
The artist captures a rastafarian, with his eyes contently closed and head basking into a shadow of tree roots, as if the tree roots are his dreadlocks, hinting at deep-rooted African rastafarian philosophies of living in accordance with the earth, symbolizing being at peace with ‘Jah’.
Amakali also combines elements of Oshiwambo culture with mobile urban dynamics, enabling the artist to create other possibilities of truth and to counteract old power imbalances. This is effortlessly portrayed when focuses his lens on the austere black and white scene of two young black men standing next to a street selling merchandise, and then amplifying the image by capturing a hazy out of focus stack of newspapers on top of this. The stunning result reminds the viewer of ‘newspaper boys’ that seem all too familiar to every Windhoek resident.
In this exhibition Amakali presents a wholistic approach through which to view the world pluralistically, with blurry boundaries and ordinary everyday experiences making his work charming without intrusion.

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