CJ Chandler

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While at home in the Eastern Cape during January 2020 I awoke to a knife pressed against my throat. In the dark a man whispered “cwaka” (isiXhosa for “keep quiet”) as an accomplice joined. This was the beginning of both a robbery and a conversation held at knifepoint.

Strangely, we spoke about travel, work, their previous convictions and privilege while they packed my possessions and questioned me as to the whereabouts of my valuables. Among the items stolen, and later recovered, were my digital camera body and iPhone. After escaping into the night, the men unknowingly recorded a video, which serves to document the incident.

The video and accompanying ominous conversation, looped on the iPhone, are exhibited as an exploration of the relationship between art making, chance, violence and privilege.