Workshop ~ Art and Activism ReFiguring Women 2012
ArtsWork ~ Women in the arts in Africa
South Africa, August 2012
"ArtsWork: Women in the arts in Africa" project launches its first series of talks on different themes about women, gender and the arts. The talks take place every Wednesday at 18H30 at the Parking Gallery / VANSA Offices in 289 Fox Street, 5th floor, City & Suburban. The intention of the talks is not to frame them as formal presentations, but as informal conversations among colleagues about the current position of women in the arts. They promise to be engaging experiences and real debates about the politics of gender in the arts sector. The August talks of Refiguring Women lead up to the ArtsWork conference at the end of November 2012 in Johannesburg. ArtsWork is a project of the Goethe-Institut South Africa, conceptualised with Nontobeko Ntombela and Jabu Pereira. The talks take place at the Parking gallery which is hosted by VANSA.
ArtsWork series: Women in the Arts in Africa
In 2012, the ArtsWork series: Women in the Arts in Africa stands under the topic of ReFiguring Women. In the month of August, the project launches its first series of talks on different themes about women, gender and the arts. The talks take place every Wednesday at 18H30 at the Parking Gallery. The word ‘figure’ unfolds multiple meanings – as a verb, to appear, be mentioned, be a symbol of, imagine, pattern, calculate, understand, determine, consider – all remultiplied by the word’s hospitality to prefixes.
Carolyn Hamilton, Verne Harris, and Graeme Reid, Refiguring Archive, 2002
The title of this workshop is inspired by the book Refiguring the Archive (2002) edited by Hamilton, Harris, and Reid. Although the book is based on the use and purpose of archives and how the archive gets reused in a contemporary context; the premise of refiguring as explained in the above quote, relates to ideas of recreating discussions about women in visual arts. It is a reexamination of women currently working within artistic practices. This idea of searching for meaning through visual arts articulates the purpose of convening (a roundtable discussion/workshop) about gender and identity, and why it is still relevant and necessary today, and how women’s position have and are constantly shifting. It plays on the idea of the literal and metaphoric meaning of the word figuring and thus becomes an extended exploration of searching in refiguring. One of the main questions that have come up in thinking about this workshop is; what are current continental issues for women in visual arts today?
Venue: Parking Gallery, 5th floor, 289 Fox Street, Johannesburg
Wednesday. 1 August 2012:
A Question on Women and Power
- Tatho Mogotsi, independent curator and photographer
- Koula Xinisteris, curator of the SABC Collection
- Melissa Goba, director of Assylem Atelje
- Antoinette Murdoch, director of the Johannesburg Art Gallery
Wednesday, 8 August 2012: Locating the Body
- Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum Home is Here (2008)
- Kemang Wa Lehulere Kemang Wa Lehulere’s video work on the noord Jaxi Rank mini skirt incident titled Behave or You Jump #1 (2010)
- Ikram Lakhdhar How Tunisian society is still struggling to achieve a cultural balance between its Islamic heritage and Western influences. She will be basing her presentation on an art exhibition that took place in Tunisia, which sparked national upheaval because of the use of female body in the some of the works exhibited.
Wednesday, 15 August 2012:
The Queer Subject beyond Gender and Sexuality
The expansive definition of the subversive has reached beyond certain hetero-feminist definitions and has had to include others’ practices of subversion such as defined by Munoz as “disidentifications”. These disidentifications expand beyond the traditional definitions of man and women, male and female, but rather to disassociate from the labels. This disassociation affords all artists the space to exist within this art system, in order to challenge and critique these gender constructs. In fact, more spaces ought to be created for what ordinarily could be understood as “lower ranked, frivolous” arts practices, to continue challenging traditional notions of what art is. Visual artists thus play an important role in bringing such issues to the fore. Their continued critique of gender binaries effectively draws on issues of inequalities and power constructions. This scope therefore allows for space to discuss issues of identities such as race, sex, geo-politics, culture, sexuality and class through the medium of the visual arts.
- Dr Zethu Matebeni, from HUMA, UCT will discuss the work of Zanele Muholi’s photographic collection and in particular the work of 2007, “Ms D’vine Series” and her 2012 work, “MO(U)RNING”. Stills below are from: Being Seen, a Video Installation by Zanele Muholi, 2012, MO(U)RNING, a re-enactment by Zanele Muholi, in memory of Sizakele and Salome, murdered on 07.07.07
- Stanimir Stoykov is a queer visual artists, he creates short films with subversive queer themes, often provocative, hilarious and dark. Some of his films are “Pussy” and “Snakes”
- Nelisiwe Xaba is a dancer, choreographer and a performance artist. Her work explores important themes such as race and gender identity and their position or (dis)placement in our we look at the world. Her seminal work, They Look At Me And That’s All They Think” and her recent work, “Black! White?”
- Moderated by Jabu Pereira
Wednesday, 22 August 2012:
Tensions between the documentary and the activist dimension
in the work of art
- Rike Sitas (activism and the city landscape), http://www.dala.org.za/
- Mary Corrigall (the activist role for media)
- Thenjiwe Nkosi (on the Comunity collaborative process – Musina project as an example)
- Moderated by Khwezi Gule, Director of the Hector Pieterson Museum