Archives for posts with tag: Robert Hamblin

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I’ve contributed two works for Performing Wo/Man, an exhibition curated by Derek Zietsman focusing on gender identity in post-apartheid South African art, has opened at North-West University Gallery in Potchefstroom.

The exhibition has a broad curatorial scope and 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.

Great to share a space with awesome artists like Diane Victor, Gordon Froud, William Kentridge, Anton Kannemeyer, Karin Preller, Bambo Sibiya, Bevan de Wet, Collin Cole, Grace da Costa, Jaco van Schalkwyk, Paul Molete, Robert Hamblin, Pauline Gutter, Zanele Muholi, Kim Berman, Sarah Ballam, Sybrand Wiechers and Tanisha Bhana.

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I’m fortunate to have a number of works included on Performing Wo/Man, an exhibition curated by Derek Zietsman, focusing on gender identity in post-apartheid South African art.

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.

Portret-van-‘n-jong-man_13The 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)

Dwang 1

“Through looking we negotiate social relationships and meanings. Looking is a practice much like speaking, writing, or signing. Looking involves learning to interpret and, like other practices, looking involves relationships of power” – Sturken and Cartwright

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I investigate and try to make visible the ways in which masculinity is performed. I don’t strictly envisage or interpret performance in a literal sense of the word only. I am interested in different traditions and contexts that represent specific aspects of rituals of power and how these are performed.

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.

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These images are part of an exhibition Five Photographers at Dawid’s Choice Gallery and also includes works by Steven Bosch and Robert Hamblin. The exhibition has been extended until end of September 2013.

RELATED LINK: Dismantling Demons: A ‘Collective Exorcism’ Through Imagery – Ang Lloyd

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I had a bit of fun coming up with this work for a Tom Waits tribute exhibition. Entitled Tom waits for no man the exhibition is curated by Gordon Froud as part of the 2013 ABSA Klein Karoo National Arts Festival visual arts programme. The format was restricted to 30cm diameter – the format of traditional vinyl LPs.

I had a tough time deciding on my favourite Waits track, so in the end I decided to take inspiration from his life instead. The title of the work is a quote from Waits on the early part of his career. It resonated with me in that his personal narrative became part, almost indistinguishable, from his oeuvre.

I used appropriation as a creative device of choice to echo the gadabout attitude.

The show moves to University of Johannesburg Art Gallery from 8 – 29 May 2013.

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RELATED LINK (Afrikaans): Tom Waits for No Man exhibition

Portret van 'n jong man # 10 (White Masks Series)

I’m very honoured to have been invited to take part in the Place/Displace exhibition at UJ Art Gallery. Place/Displace is a group exhibition that addresses issues of relationship with a country of origin, land concerns, ownership, identity, new colonial imperialism, xenophobia, displacement, refugees, utopia and dystopia within rapidly changing social constructs.

The show, incorporating works by South African artists and Greek artists residing in South Africa, forms part of a weeklong festive period culminating in a prestigious long table dinner and art auction with works by donating artists on Saturday 27 October 2012. Acclaimed South African artists William Kentridge, Diane Victor, Angus Taylor, Georgie Papageorge and Penny Siopis amongst others, have shown their support by donating works for the auction.

Some of the exhibiting artists include Robert Hamblin, Pat Mautloa, Stephan Erasmus Alexandra Ross, Ann-Marie Tully, Karin Preller, Belinda Leontsinis, Erika Hibbert, Georgia Papageorge, Gordon Froud, Happy Dhlame, Michelle Nigrini, Penny Siopis and Yannis Generalis.

The show also includes this great work by my dear friend Robert Hamblin (with yours truly as model). This current body of work is starting to explore  the performance of the anonymity physicality of gender archetypes.

Under Patriarchy Robert Hamblin

Hamblin’s previous body of work was a collaboration with transwomen in Cape Town. In South Africa identities are still being negotiated – not just on a macro level but also in a micro level. It is here on the micro level, the everyday existence where people grapple with being, that Robert Hamblin’s work comes into play.

Structures and institutions of oppression may have been officially dismantled, but on an everyday level many individuals are still judged and persecuted by majority bias and opinion often based on outdated or inherited customs and traditions. In an unequal society, gender is a system of power. The toll of forcing gender stereotypes onto people has been documented in the media and chronicles some of the most horrific incidences of physical violence perpetrated against individuals.

In this context Robert Hamblin’s work with trans-communities in the Cape Town area becomes a remarkable celebration. There is always cognisance of the violence that is part of the fabric of their daily lives – as statistics and can prove – but in front of Robert’s lens each person can come into being without recompense. The studio becomes more than a stage, but rather a space that allows for an exuberant celebration of being. The lens captures the temporal moments of becoming in a space that is momentarily devoid of bias, hate and violence – a celebration of being able to be oneself.

The Place/Displace exhibition will be opened by Advocate George Bizos SC on 22 October at 18:30.

For more information contact the UJ Art Gallery at 011 559 2099 or gallery@uj.ac.za or the George Bizos Saheti Scholarship and Bursary Fund at sam@salamander.co.za 082 374 8124.

RELATED LINKS: White Masks Series