Tuesday, May 27, 2014

New Work: In place of Space

In Place of Space, was a site specific work, exhibited at the Apartheid Archive Conference 2014 entitled Race, Place, Location, Dislocation: Then and Now. The conference was hosted by the University of Pretoria from 21 May to 23 May.

The apartheid legacy of forced removals and displacement has had long standing effects on the individual and social morale of South Africans. Besides for the perpetuated economic and political injustice, there remain psychological consequences related to the loss of financial, emotional, historical and cultural capital. The Group Areas Act of 1950, was the beginning of a number of segregation acts intended to control, divide and segregate South Africans along racial and ethnic lines. The implementation of these acts comprised a massive forced removal and demolition strategy which dislocated millions of non-whites as well as whites. 

The exhibition entitled ‘In place of space’ is a show of fetishised utilitarian objects accumulated by evictees of the apartheid regime’s mass displacement project during the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s. The theme explores the idea of home, loss and longing and the emotional trajectories of the disenfranchised within the apartheid and post-apartheid settings. The exhibition addresses this theme by visually representing ‘replacement’ or ‘transitional objects’, furniture, cutlery, implements etc. transferred from family homes in target areas to displaced dwellings in the townships or locations. The numerous losses encountered during forced relocations often render such objects, which become souvenirs of the space, precious or reliquary. ‘In place of space’ aims to elicit narrative interpretations in viewers that begin to explore the internal and physical tensions and struggles that may be encountered in the internalisation of displacement.

'In place of Space'
Antique table & Cement
Site specific installation
20 May 2014

A special thanks to the Apartheid Archive Project organisers - 
Prof. Norman Duncan, Prof. Garth Stevens, Marinda Maree, Hugo Canham- for an excellent platform.

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