The fire that destroyed Shany van den Berg’s home haunts her exhibition, (In)filtration of Time, but it is not immediately apparent. It is a biographical tidbit that offers a deeper reading of this intriguing exhibition concerned with the evolution of the female identity and existential questions about the passing of time and what it is to be alive. It is hard to think why these two themes shouldn’t be interlinked. Perhaps we are programmed to believe that any dialogue about the female body has to do with appearances and not deeper universal issues that also pertain to men. Yet the exhibition is a deeply feminist one. The link between clothing and the female identity lingers. The works in the entrance of the cavernous Circa gallery in Cape Town pivot on silhouettes of ideal-looking female bodies, which are cut out from a coarse linen and allude to pattern pieces of garments or mock traditional couture. In collapsing the female form into a garment, she drives home the idea of how clo...

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