Zen Marie is an artist with no work to sell. It’s not because, as a lecturer at the Wits School of Arts, he favours theory over practice. He writes, takes photographs, makes video installations. Granted he has a master’s from the Amsterdam School of Cultural Analysis but then he also majored in sculpture at Michaelis and spent two years at De Atelier, a space for emerging young artists to create work, not contemplate it.
For his latest project, Caught by Traffic, Marie has been collaborating with taxi drivers in Durban, Dakar and Bangalore, finding the art in their pimped taxis, highlighting the fact that “the guys who modify taxis are interdisciplinary multimedia artists”. It’s indicative of the way he works – always around projects, never chasing an exhibition. He’s not even represented by a gallery. For him, it’s about mobilising different urban spaces and then stepping back to find the research value in the visual arts process.
— Cat Pritchard