2018: Bamb’ iphone

The title, which translates to ‘Pick up the phone’ or ‘Hold the phone’, draws the viewer’s attention to the myriad narratives that pivot around this device. Works with titles such as Khawu’phinde umtryeh (‘Try them again’) and Squad Goals (internet friends are not your real friends) portray scenes from multiple vantage points. Dada avoids simplistic conclusions, synthesising opposing perspectives to defy linear ways of thinking.

An installation with sound developed with writer and academic Julie Nxadi features utterances that could be attributed to any of the characters in the paintings. The visual and auditory ambiguities in this exhibition channel the oral tradition’s method of ‘call and response’, choreographing an open-ended relationship between the works. In Bamb’iphone, the contemporary South African experience is depicted as a tapestry of interweaving viewpoints and stories in constant shift.

Images are sourced from party-photos uploaded by nightclubs, Instagram posts, and pages from old Drum magazines; these are reconfigured to express a unique generational viewpoint. Citing the relations around power and consumption that arrived with cellphones, excitement around ‘game-changing’ handsets, and the democracy of the internet as a ‘path towards fame’, Dada states ‘Sonke silapho’ – ‘We’re all in there’. As a member of a social group that came of age during the advent of the digital era – witnessing the accelerating speed between cycles of relevance and how these manifest in material culture and the social fabric – the artist positions these works as embedded social commentary. Bambi’phone is a sensitive appraisal of contemporary culture, articulating the paranoias and aspirations of the ‘digital immigrants’ who preceded ‘digital natives’

–  text via Stevenson

Bamb’iphone Installation View

‘Khaw’phinde um’trye’
Acrylic, mixed media and found object on wood

97.5 x 178 x 10cm

Love Between Magenta Covers
Acrylic and mixed media on wood

97.5 x 179 x 10cm




Squad Goals (internet friends are not your real friends)
Acrylic and mixed media on wood

133 x 247 x 7cm

Si la ngaphandle wena uva?’
Acrylic, mixed media and found objects on wood

140 x 125 x 23cm



‘Okay so I’ll leave the phone behind’
Acrylic, mixed media and found objects on wood

95 x 118 x 20cm

Acrylic, mixed media and found objects on wood

94 x 185 x 20cm

Video interview about exhibition;



Writings about Bamb’iphone

Connection in the Age of Connectivity: Dada Khanyisa’s ‘Bamb’iphone’

Decoding Dada Khanyisa’s Latest Offering, Bamb’iphone – HuffPost

Visual artist Dada flying solo – SowetanLIVE

Real Life Is Dada Khanyisa’s Art – Jameson INDIE Channel