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Curated by Sumayya Vally and Josh Ginsburg

July 2 – October 8, 2022 A4 Arts Foundation 23 Buitenkant St, District Six, Cape Town

Customs takes its cue from a series of photographs taken by Sumayya Vally in Saudi Arabia in 2021. The images record a number of roadside mosques of varying architectural structure and opacity, forming sacred and ceremonial space. Vally writes: "I became interested in how the community of itinerant users were encouraged, by the structures themselves, to read them and make use of them. They were infrastructures for gathering, and further, inherent in these same infrastructures were invitations to participate in their making and upkeep." Customs wonders after practices of maintenance, both static and dynamic. What is it that invites us to use, and to be of use? Accompanying the exhibition is a wayfinder, offering reflections on the artworks as well as prompts for visitors to enact or consider, as they interact with Customs.

When walking through a doorway

touch the right post, with your right hand, at head height –

consider the room you are leaving

consider the room you are entering

consider the gap between the two.

(J.G.) Yoko Ono’s Mend Piece (1966/2018) installed in the Reading Room as part of Customs carries its own instructions from the artist for visitors to participate in ‘mending’ irreparably broken pieces of cups and saucers, making these anew. Mend with wisdom

mend with love

mend your heart.

It will mend the earth

at the same time.



Sumayya Vally Josh Ginsburg

Participating Artists

Dor Guez Yoko Ono Steve McQueen Kapwani Kiwanga Igshaan Adams Frida Orupabo Ezrom Legae Nolan Oswald Dennis Nairy Baghramian Binelde Hyrcan Peter Clarke Willem Boshoff Moshekwa Langa George Hallett


Design by Ben Johnson

Writers Sara de Beer Lucienne Bestall Lily van Rensburg Margot Dower Editor Sara de Beer