Jo Rogge’s (b.1963) art is an attempt to render and navigate highly intense emotive states, provoked by a world fraught with conflict. Conflicts surrounding the body, especially bodies in precarious positions, are central to her work. In her new series, ‘O is for Other’, her own life experiences provide much of the emotional charge. The human body, as a fragment or even as an idea, is used by Rogge as an intuitive language for deciphering and deliberating over our emotional lives and experiences. She uses the bodily form as a conduit for probing fundamental beliefs about gender, body politics, identity, and sexuality.
Through her fluid renderings of bodily gendered expression, she calls into question the dichotomous notions of ‘male’ and ‘female’, challenges heteronormative assumptions, and creates a new crucible for queer voices. At the same time, she poses uncomfortable questions about difference and belonging.
The act of drawing is a fundamental part of Rogge’s artistic process: it is almost always the starting point for her creations. She layers different materials over these drawings – paint, ink, collage – and it is this process of layering, re-working, and re-making that further enables the emotional journey necessary to complete a given piece.
Rogge lives and works between Namibia and South Africa, and has worked with Guns & Rain since 2015. She is the founder of the NJE Collective, which facilitates informal mentorship between young, developing artists and their more established counterparts. In September 2016, she received a grant from the Other Foundation to create a new body of work addressing identity, stigma and discrimination in the LGBTI community in Namibia. Rogge’s constant interrogation of the ‘Othered’ body has led her to a range of projects across the globe, working in diverse media. Rogge is also currently advisor and editor for the first-ever documentary film about young black transgender Namibians.
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2018 – Group Show with NJE Collective at INVESTEC Cape Town Art Fair, South Africa
2017 – AKAA: Also Known As Africa, Paris France, represented by Guns & Rain
2017 – Another Antipodes Urban Axis, Fremantle, Australia
2017 – All Your Secrets, with Ann Gollifer (Botswana), Guns & Rain, Johannesburg
2017 – ArtAfrica Fair, Cape Town, South Africa
2016 – Art Market Budapest – Art PHOTO, Budapest, Hungary
2016 – I am a different me, Franco Namibian Cultural Centre, Windhoek, Namibia
2016 – Turbine Art Fair, Johannesburg, South Africa
2016 – THAT ART FAIR, Cape Town, South Africa
2015 – Xom/ Etosha, Gothenburg Biennale (GIBCA-extended), Vänersborg Art Gallery, Sweden
2015 – UN/Declared UN/Desirable, Franco Namibian Cultural Centre, Windhoek, Namibia
2014 – Studio at Kalk Bay, Cape Town, South Africa
GRANTS, RESIDENCIES, AWARDS
2016 – The Other Foundation – Namaqua Daisy Grant for ‘Photograph Me, Make Me Beautiful’, queer/ trans/lesbian project
2016 – Residency at CACIs – Centre for Contemporary Art and Sustainability, Barcelona, Spain – sound and biomimicry project
1995 – Merit Award Printmaking: Standard Bank Biennale, National Art Gallery of Namibia
1993 – 1st Prize Printmaking: Standard Bank Biennale, National Art Gallery of Namibia