About Dan Halter
Dan Halter, born in Zimbabwe in 1977, graduated from the University of Cape Town with a BFA in 2001. His solo exhibitions include Take Me to Your Leader (2006) at João Ferreira Gallery, Cape Town, Never say Never (2008) at Derbylius Gallery, Milan, Double Entry (2010), The Truth Lies Here (2012) and The Original is Unfaithful to The Translation (2015) at Whatiftheworld Gallery, Cape Town. Group shows include the 16th and 17th VideoBrasil (2007 & 2011) in São Paulo, the 10th Havana Biennale (2009), the Dakar Biennale (2010) and Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art. Halter has been an artist in residence in Zürich (Switzerland), in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), in Dufftown (Scotland) and Turin (Italy).
Dan Halter’s artistic practice is informed entirely by his position as a Zimbabwean living in South Africa. Thereby his work confronts his sense of a dislocated national identity, human migration and the dark humour of present realities in Southern Africa. Halter employs every-day materials and adopts local popular visual strategies as a form of expression; this often exploits the notions of craft and curio within a conceptual art context.
About the project
Dan Halter’s large linocut series, Domboremari, is based on an engraving of the balancing rocks found in the southeast of Harare, off the Chiremba Road, which achieved fame as a prominent feature on most Zimbabwean banknotes. Four different sets of this currency were issued, owing to the hyperinflation in Zimbabwe resulting in the need to re-denominate the currency, and the notes were printed in numerous colours.
Use of the Zimbabwean dollar as an official currency was effectively abandoned in 2009. Since then, a variety of currency is accepted there, although most transactions are with US dollars. Recently the country has begun to run out of money and it is currently looking at introducing local bond notes. This idea has been very controversial in light of what happened to the previous legal tender.
At the height of inflation, one US dollar could fetch 300 trillion Zimbabwean dollars on the black market. The largest banknote was Z$100 trillion. These banknotes are now available to purchase as a collector’s objects at tourist hubs such as Green Market Square in Cape Town, or online from Banknote World, Great American Coin Company, One Hundred Trillions and Google.
Halter carved his image in linoleum flooring over a period of a month. Warren Editions will produce a number of editions each in a particular colour – referencing colours used on the money. Currently in existence are editions in blue, pink, green and grey. The title, Domboremari, is Shona and means ‘the money rocks’ (the rocks found on the money).
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