Dan Halter


Dan Halter’s artistic practice is informed by his position as a Zimbabwean living in South Africa. Using materials ubiquitous to South Africa and Zimbabwe Halter employs the language of craft and curio as a visual strategy to articulate his concerns within a fine art context. Through this, as well as through photography and video, Halter addresses notions of a dislocated national identity and the politics of post-colonial Zimbabwe within a broader African context.

Dan Halter was born in Zimbabwe in 1977. In addition to five solo exhibitions Halter has participated in numerous group shows including US at the South African National Gallery, curated by Simon Njami, Zeitgenössiche Fotokunst aus Südafrika at the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (NBK), 2009 Havana Biennale and Earth Matters at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington DC. He has completed four international residencies, in Zürich, Rio de Janeiro, Scotland and Turin. Recent exhibitions include the 7th Triennial of Contemporary Textile Arts of Tournai, Belgium and Dan Halter / Mappa Del Mondo at the Nassauischer Kunstverein in Wiesbaden Germany.

Halter’s also work appears in the a number of collections including, The South African National Gallery, UNISA (University of South Africa), University of Cape Town, Scheryn Collection, Artphilein Collection, Pigozzi Collection, SAFFCA Collection, Round About Collection, and the prestigious Rennie Collection

Dan Halter lives and works in Cape Town, South Africa.


My experience as a white Zimbabwean now living in South Africa informs my practice. I deal with notions of a dislocated national identity and the dark humour of present realities in Southern Africa, largely a backlash to a history of oppression that continues today. I realize my work through the use of ubiquitous materials and the use of local popular visual strategies as a form of expression. This often tends towards the language of craft and curio within a contemporary fine art context. Two words that are useful in describing my art are fabric and fabrication:

fab·ric (n)
1. cloth of any type made from thread or fibers, whether woven, knitted, or felted
2. the particular texture or quality of a kind of cloth
3. the fundamental structure or makeup of something
4. the material from which something is constructed, especially a building, or the physical structure of something

fab·ri·ca·tion (n)
1. the construction of something, or something that has been constructed or made
2. the invention of something that is not true
3. a fraudulent imitation of a signature or document

(Encarta World English Dictionary (c) 1999 Microsoft Corporation.
All rights reserved. Developed for Microsoft by Bloomsbury Publishing

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2019 Plenty Sits Still, Hunger is a Wanderer, This Is No Fantasy, Melbourne
Cross the River in a Crowd - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town
2018 Please Call Me - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town
2017 Patience Can Cook a Stone - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town
2016 The Amory Show 2016 - Pier 94, New York
2015 The Original is Unfaithful to the Translation - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town
2012 The Truth Lies Here - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town
2011 Dan Halter/ Mappa Del Mondo, NkV (Nassauischer kunstverein Weisbaden), Weisbaden, Germany
2010 Double Entry, WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town
Shifting The Goalposts, (in collaboration with Adam Davies) Son Gallery, London & GoetheonMain, Johannesburg
2008 Never Say Never, Derbylius Gallery, Milan, Italy
2006 Take Me To Your Leader, João Ferreira Gallery, Cape Town

Selected Group Exhibitions

2020 Histories of Dance, Museu de Arte de Sāo Paulo, Brazil
Anuário 2020, Palácio das Artes, Porto Portugal
2019 Lost Lover, RAMPA, Porto, Portugal
Growbox Art Project, Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town
Dance of Urgency, Q21 Museums Quartier, Vienna
2018 Hacer Noché, Santo Domingo, Oaxaca de Juárez, Mexico
Forward? Forward! Forward… Stellenbosch University Museum
Baggage Claims, Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, North Carolina
2017 Two To Tango, Sperling Gallery, Münich
Low Res: Spatial Politics in the Cloud, NARS Foundation, Brooklyn
Chinafrika. under construction, Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst Leipzig
Everyday Anomaly - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town
PLAY/III Video and Performance Festival, Galerie Ampersand, Cologne
Baggage Claims, Orlando Museum of Art
You & 1, A4 Arts Foundation, Cape Town
2016 Home Land Security, FOR-SITE Foundation, San Francisco
Artists’ Books and Africa, Smithsonian National Museum of African Art
Nano, Barnard Gallery, Cape Town
ENERGY FLASH - The Rave Movement, M HKA, Antwerpen
Winter 2015: Collected Works, Rennie Collection at Wing Sang, Vancouver
2016 Joburg Art Fair - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg
Mir ist das Leben lieber, Weserburg Museum für moderne Kunst
Dear Europa ... - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg
HISTORICODE: Scarcity and Supply, The 3rd Nanjing International Art Festival
100 Geographies, US Museum, Stellenbosch
Negative Space - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town
After the Thrill is Gone, Gwen Frostic School of Art, Michigan
2015 Foreign Bodies - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town
Johannesburg Pavilion, 56th Venice Biennale fringe
2015 Joburg Art Fair - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg
Migrations, The National College of Art and Design, Dublin
Thinking, Feeling, Head, Heart, New Church Museum, Cape Town
Brave New World…20 Years of Democracy, Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town
Broken English, Tyburn Gallery, London
2014 Uncertain Terms - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town
Vegetation as a Political Agent, Parco Arte Vivente (PAV) Turin, Italy
Unerasable Memories: A Historic Look at the Videobrasil Collection Sesc Pompeia, São Paulo, Brazil
Paperwork, SMAC Art Gallery, Stellenbosch, South Africa
No Fixed Abode, New Church Museum, Cape Town
Ngezinwayo - Migrant Journeys, WITS Art Museum, Johannesburg, South Africa
Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in Arts of Africa, Smithsonian, National Museum of African Art, Washington DC
Exact Imagination: 300 Years of Botanically Inspired Art in South Africa, Standard Bank Art Gallery, Johannesburg
2013 Who is afraid of the public? ICA (The Institute of Contemporary Arts), London
Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in Arts of Africa, Smithsonian, National Museum of African Art, Washington DC
Digi Re-engineering, UNISA Art Gallery, Pretoria
Making Way, Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg
Positive Tension - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town
2012 Making Way, National Arts Festival, Grahamstown
Under Constant Threat, Museum of Contemporary Art, Porto Alegre, Brazil
4th Protest Arts International Festival (PAIF), Harare, Zimbabwe
Beyond Apartheid: Sex, Race, and Politics in Contemporary Africa, Porto Alegre, Brazil
2011 17th VideoBrasil, São Paulo, Brazil
7th International Triennial of Contemporary Textile Arts, Tournai, Belgium
10 Years On, Michaelis Gallery, University of Cape Town
Propaganda by Monuments, Cairo, Egypt
2010 Spier Contemporary, City Hall, Cape Town
Mooimarkshow III, Galerie Weisser elefant, Berlin, Germany
/ + = X, Serialworks, Cape Town
US, South African National Gallery, Cape Town
Harare International Art Fair (HIFA), Zimbabwe National Gallery
Dak’art, Dakar, Senegal
LADUMA! Rotterdam, Holland
2009 10th Havana Biennial, Havana, Cuba
8th Annual Art Salon at Rose Korber Art, Cape Town
Objects of a Revolution, Dominque Fiat Gallery, Paris, France
Second Johannesburg Art Fair, Sandton convention centre, Johannesburg
Project 35, NADA Miami Art Fair
Encounters, South African International Documentary Festival
WORD!, Association for Visual Arts (AVA), Cape Town
US, Johannesburg Art Gallery
ECC25 (End Conscription Campaign 25 years), Spier Wine Estate Stellenbosch
Holiday, WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town
2008 First Johannesburg Art Fair, Sandton Convention Centre
17th Annual Art Salon at Rose Korber Art, Cape Town
Studio 2666: Ons Skrik vir Niks, Blank Projects, Cape Town
Prints + Editions, WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town
Big Wednesday, WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town
Power Play, Goodman Gallery, Cape Town
Forty Years of Friendship: The Friends of The National Gallery: 1968–2008, South African National Gallery, Cape Town
MTN New Contemporaries, University of Johannesburg
Monologs, Rome, Italy and at the Gallería Animal in Santiago, Chile
3rd Guangzhou Triennial, Guangzhou, China
2007 16th Annual Art Salon at Rose Korber Art, Cape Town
Zeitgenössiche Fotokunst aus Südafrika, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (NBK), Berlin, Germany
Hell Yeah, Museum of Contemporary Art, Cape Town
3C Committee and Critics Choice, Association for Visual Arts (AVA), Cape Town
The 2nd Cape Town Biennale, Blank Projects, Cape Town
The Inchoate Idiosynchratic Descent into Nihlism, Michaelis Gallery, University of Cape Town
16th VideoBrasil, São Paulo, Brazil
Spier Contemporary, Spier Wine estate Stellenbosch
2006 Second to None, South African National Gallery, Cape Town
The Cape Town Biennale, Blank Projects, Cape Town
The Last Braai 666, in collaboration with christian Nerf and ed Young, l/B’s lounge, Cape Town
Next Wave Festival, Melbourne, Australia
15th Annual Art Salon at The Bay, Bay Hotel, Cape Town

Selected Publications

2013      Selected Works