Portret van ’n jong man #12
(From the White Masks series)
870 mm x 610mm
Digital print on 100% cotton artist
The exhibition aims to explore how a changing post-apartheid socio-political environment is causing South African men and women to create new conceptions of identity, and to comment on how South Africans are breaking down previously imposed and preconceived identities.
“Identity theorists, such as Stuart Hall and Butler, contend that identities are not something which already exists, but a construct that undergoes constant transformation, a fluid variable which shifts and changes in different contexts and at different times,” says Zietsman.
The exhibition therefore visually investigates, explores and comments on issues such as: inter alia; the historic and contemporary construction of South African identities; masculinity; femininity; patriarchal hegemony; sexual identity; social identity; racial identity; social expectations for post-apartheid gender performativity; political and social change and its effects on gender performativity; rape and violence in South Africa; and abuses of power by role models and politicians.
The artists participating in Performing Wo/Man are Bambo Sibiya, Bevan de Wet, Christiaan Diedericks, Collin Cole, Derek Zietsman, Diane Victor, Gordon Froud, Karin Preller, Grace da Costa, Jaco van Schalkwyk, Paul Molete, Richardt Strydom, Robert Hamblin, Sarah Ballam, Sybrand Wiechers, Tanisha Bhana and Yannis Generalis.
The exhibition presented by University of Johannesburg Arts & Culture at the UJ Art Gallery runs from Wednesday, 6 August to Wednesday, 10 September 2014.
(Images: Top – Palpation, 2014. Bottom – Portret van ’n jong man #13, 2014)
Exhibition statement: “As South Africa celebrates its 20th year of democracy, having made a peaceful transition from apartheid state to a new and more equitable dispensation, this show seeks to show a slice of South African existence through contemporary art. While it is in celebration of this milestone, the exhibition itself does not necessarily unpack the notion of democracy but rather looks across the scope of what it means to have been a South African over the last 20 years. The show thus explores issues of social conditions, like land issues, HIV/Aids and resistance art and juxtaposes these with more positive aspects like the Mandela years and the influence of traditional craft on contemporary South African art” – Appalachian State University.
These are experiments that that go along with practice based research articles as a means to explore visual responses to theoretical arguments.
The gifs are in a response to an article that looks at the use of the picturesque by colonial artists as a means of framing the foreign landscape and how such practices inform the relationship between notions of landscape vs.land
The gifs depict the action of seed-bombing, which is a form of guerrilla gardening, here enacted on the site of what was once Makweteng – an area of pre-apartheid forced removals, that is near where I currently live.
Seeing that my usual artistic practice engages with self-identity, I wanted to explore how I could put myself back into the landscape without enacting the role of the possessing agent.
The floral attacks are a way of re-introducing indigenous flora onto derelict land.I aim to revisit the sites in spring to see if any of the seeds sprouted.
I decided to use gif animations because it is a sequence of frames. The format is willfully square as opposed to ‘landscape’ or ‘portrait’.
SALON 1 is the pilot exhibition of a pop-up 19th century-style salon curated by Ann-Marie Tully and Andrea Rolfes, bringing together select groupings of emerging and established South African artists.
From 1725 the official art exhibitions organised by the organised by the French academy were held in the room called the Salon Carré in the Louvre, which became known simply as ‘The Salon’.
This exhibition which represents an artist-led and artist-centred premise revives the pre-white-cube experience of viewing art in tight knit groupings that prize the value of every inch of an exhibition venue, and present each work in dialogue and tension with other work (thematically and/or aesthetically)
SALON 1 previews between 2:00 and 16:00 on Friday 11 July 2014;
Join us to celebrate the opening on Saturday 12 July at 12:00.
The SALON is open between 10:00 and 16:00 Sunday 13 July & Monday 14 July.
Closes at 15:00 on Tuesday 15 July.
Photos: courtesy of Salon
Artwork: Dwang #6 – part of ‘BLEEK: photographic and audiovisual works 2010 – 2014′ at The Gallery, NWU Potchefstroom (artwork details: 40 cm diameter, digital print on 100% cotton artist paper, edition 10).
BLEEK encompasses a number of photographic series that sets out to interrogate the performance of white masculinity from different points of entry. Masochistic violence and self-interrogation are recurring themes in the body of work. I am is especially interested in the manner different traditions and contexts are embodied in particular power rituals.
The Dwang portraits in particular are informed by a personal childhood memory. Although ostensibly erotic these images conjure up the unpleasant experience of public medical examinations administered by state doctors that all pre-adolescent boys in state schools had to undergo during the 1980s. By replacing the model with an adult male I want to question issues of agency and complicity.
BLEEK: photographic & audiovisual works 2010 – 2014
Opening: 19:00, 27 March 2014, NWU Gallery, Potchefstroom.
Opening speaker: Dr Christi van der Westhuizen – author of White Power & the Rise and Fall of the National Party and a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Institute for Humanities in Africa (Huma), University of Cape Town
(Top: poster Bottom: invite)