Mary Sibande and Sophie Ntombikayise Take Central Court
Emerging artist Mary Sibande lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa. This work, the first in a U.S. museum collection, culminates Sibande’s series of sculptural installations featuring four generations of women in her family, all of whom worked as domestic servants. The name Sophie comes from a real and imagined collective narrative. The wonderfully overblown gown—an artificial hybrid costume of maid’s uniform and regal Victorian dress—provides the tableau on which Sibande unveils her story. Through Sophie-Ntombikayise, Sibande addresses the “traditional” role of black women in South Africa and other countries with a history of black servitude.