Breaking with the past: strategies of disruption in South African visual arts in the representation of a new social order
Michael Godby (University of Cape Town)
Arts and Culture
Chrystal McMillan, Seminar Room 1
Wednesday 12 June, 16:15-17:45

Short abstract:

The visual arts in South Africa have tracked the profound changes in postcolonial society, particularly since the Fallist movement of 2016. This panel explores the formal strategies devised by artists to convey the revolutionary nature of these changes in South Africa and elsewhere on the continent

Long abstract:

This panel takes as read that there have been, and continue to be, massive changes in the postcolonial landscape throughout Africa. All papers on this panel will illustrate examples of the transformation of institutions that govern public life - political, social, cultural, etc. - that has occurred as a consequence of, or in tandem with political liberation. However, the point of the panel is not simply to narrate these changes but, rather, to identify the strategies used by visual artists to represent the idea of transformation within them. In an extreme case, iconoclasm was deployed on University campuses, and elsewhere in South Africa, to mark the replacement of - or the desire to replace - one social order by another. But South African visual artists have devised more formal means to convey the idea of revolution in society generally, and within their own discipline. The panel invites papers that explore strategies of disruption in the different Fine Arts media, and in the art of curating, in contemporary South African art.