Born in Cape Town, 1989, Francois Knoetze is a performance artist, sculptor and filmmaker. He holds a BA Fine Arts degree from Rhodes University and an MFA in Fine Arts degree from Michaelis School of Fine Art, UCT (both with distinction).
In 2012 Knoetze featured as one of Art South Africa magazine’s ‘Bright Young Things’ and was recently selected as one of Mail & Guardian’s ‘Top 200 Young South Africans’ of 2015. Knoetze’s work incorporates video, performance and sculpture, as he retraces the life cycles of discarded objects and explores junctures between material and social histories. In his Mongo* sculptural suits, the synthetic is welded to the human – bringing focus to the objectification of persons, through the personification of objects.
His most recent work, Cape Mongo, formed part of the Grahamstown National Arts Festival Main Programme in 2015. He has participated in group exhibitions, such as U/Tropia at the Wiener Festwochen in Germany (2015), Slow Violence at the University Stellenbosch Art Gallery (2015) and Designing Futures at the LagosPhoto Festival (2015). His work has also been shown at a number of local and international film festivals, including the 17th Paris Festival for Different and Experimental Cinema, Artvideo Koeln: Audiovisual Experiences in Cologne (2015), Infecting The City Public Art Festival in Cape Town (2015), Usurp Zone5 Film Festival at the Usurp Art Gallery & Studio in London (2015), the FILMIDEO International Film Festival at the Index Art Center in Newark, New Jersey (2015) and OK.Video Film Festival in Indonesia (2015).
In 2018, Francois was an artist in residence in South Australia initiated by OSCA. He led workshops for 20 local artists and created a series of mongo suits that were presented at the Port Fringe, in the City of Adelaide and as part of WOMADELAIDE.
* Mongo n.slang. object thrown away and then recovered