The essay film Lazy Nigel, explores the various ways in which work constructs our identities, alongside prevailing perceptions of work, including the ideological assertion that 'work' is morally 'good'. Filmed in the small town of Nigel in the East Rand of Johannesburg, Simon Gush focuses his camera on landscapes of industrial complexes and factories devoid of employees. Gush presents us with scenes of a near ghost town, where the workers have returned to their distant homes and families on the weekend, but where in small places, some semblance of everyday life and activity remains.
Simon Gush lives in Johannesburg. He completed postgraduate studies at the Hoger Instituut van Schone Kunsten in Ghent, Belgium, in 2008, and was a 2011 Fellow at the Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts, University of Cape Town. Solo shows include After Work at Galerie Jette Rudolph in Berlin (2015); 9 o'clock at the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown (2015); Red at the Goethe-Institut, Johannesburg (2014) and at Anne Bryant Art Gallery in East London and ArtEC in Port Elizabeth (2015); 1st and 3rd at Galerie West, The Hague, and 4 for Four at S.M.A.K., Ghent (both 2010); in addition to five solo exhibitions at Stevenson, Cape Town and Johannesburg, between 2007 and 2015. Group shows include I Love You Sugar Kane at the Institute of Contemporary Art Indian Ocean, Mauritius (2016); While You Were Out at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston (2015); The Films Will Always Be You: South African Artists on Screenat Tate Modern in London (2015); Artists Engaged? Maybe at Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon (2014); My Joburg at La Maison Rouge, Paris, and the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen in Dresden (2013); Halakasha at the Standard Bank Gallery in Johannesburg in 2010; and 1910-2010: From Pierneef to Gugulective at the Iziko South African National Gallery in Cape Town in 2010; among others. Gush has been included in the biennales of Dakar, Senegal, in 2016; Bamako, Mali, in 2015; Montevideo, Uruguay, in 2014; and Luleå, Sweden, in 2009. Gush was awarded the Jury Prize at the Bamako Encounters Biennale in 2015.