Announcing: Spring 2018 Exhibitions
After the Thrill is Gone, Digitalia, and Emerging Artist Andrew Wilson
On View March 28, 2018 through August 26, 2018
After the Thrill is Gone: Fashion, Politics and Culture in Contemporary South African Art features fourteen artists who read the political climate of post-apartheid South Africa through fashion’s embrace of the “new.” Signaling an end to race-based legislation and the often violent, discriminatory practices of apartheid and its colonial antecedents, Nelson Mandela’s victory in the 1994 elections marked the transition toward a new South Africa.
Similar to the use of quotation and repetition in fashion—modes endlessly reiterated each season—South Africa’s continued legacies of dispossession and inequality render the present day country insubstantially different from its apartheid predecessor. These cycles of repetition expose the reality of South Africa’s social conditions. And yet, despite fashion’s appearance as unchanging, its capacity to anticipate the future endows it with a power to radically transform the present.
The artists in After the Thrill is Gone use fashion to shape narratives of representation, identity, memory, xenophobia, violence in the domestic sphere, and allegories of nationalism. Both individually and collectively, these artists locate fashion as a political language and reinterpret the historical terrain of South Africa after the thrill of apartheid’s end is gone.
Artists in the exhibition include Kudzanai Chiurai, Julia Rosa Clark, Hasan & Husain Essop, Pierre Fouché, Gabrielle Goliath, Haroon Gunn-Salie, Daniel Halter, Nicholas Hlobo, Gerald Machona, Mohau Modisakeng, Athi-Patra Ruga, Mary Sibande and Jody Paulsen.
Organized by the James W. & Lois I. Richmond Center for Visual Arts, Western Michigan University. Andrew Hennlich, PhD, Curator.
MoAD’s presentation is organized by Emily A. Kuhlmann, Director of Exhibitions and Curatorial Affairs.
Featured image: Kudzanai Chiurai, Revelations IX, 2011. UltraChrome ink on Innova photo fibre paper. Courtesy of the artist and Goodman Gallery.
Prompted by the increasing emphasis on the digital world, this exhibition explores the symbiotic relationship between technology, identity, and evolving narratives. In the face of intersecting opportunities and oppressions these works ask important questions about how digital art can both reproduce and redefine complex notions of Blackness.
Born into a hyper-connected world, many of today’s young Black artists live with liberating social media platforms for self and artistic expression. Unlike traditional modes of visual art, contemporary digital art is widely considered a democratizing medium. In opposition to limitations of the past, it’s this generation’s fresh perspective on Blackness and use of digital art as a tool to reclaim, rewrite, and rethink history that reconnects us to an essential part of ourselves.
Stories are the operating system of the human brain and heart. With new ways of digital expression, we have an increased ability to seek out new representations and narratives to identify with, share and circulate. This exhibition is rich with an economy of ideas that provides a global look at the visual language, and material culture that gives rise to current modes of Black identity…offering a glimpse into a world simultaneously digital and real.
Artists in this exhibition include KESH, T.S. Abe, Momo Pixel, Underdog, Rafia Santana, Manzel Bowman and Feltzine.
Digitalia: Art and the Economy of Ideas is curated by Lady PheOnix of the YesUniverse
EYEJACK is our digital partner for this exhibition. Download the app now in the App Store and Google Play
Equivalencies: Abandoned Bodies thinks through the ways in which we remember people in relationship to their physical space and the objects associated with their bodies. This exhibition investigates how we remember the dead, asking us to contemplate the parallels between those who have passed and our enduring memories, as we take them with us in the future.
Multimedia artist, Andrew Wilson, uses the measurements from stowage system of the infamous slave ship Brookes, to creates what can be perceived as graves or plinths. In comparable scale and organization with the ship, each platform holds objects of the deceased – a sewing machine, bronze cotton boll husks, cowrie shell regalia, an American Empire chair, a pocket watch, human hair and crowns. Each item serves as a reminder of the departed individuals, and also elevates these mundane objects to a supernatural realm.
In addition to this display, Wilson presents a video installation that documents the cutting of his dreadlocks during the last critique of his MFA at UC Berkeley. There are many ways this can be read and is up to the interpretation of the viewer to place this spectacle.
Equivalencies: Abandoned Bodies aims to process through the slippage between life and death and honoring of the ephemeral objects left behind. In this way, this work eulogizes those who have passed and who walk with us today in spirit.