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Imaginary Fact: Contemporary South African Art and the Archive
Zanele Muholi
Lerato Nkutha, Braamfontein, Johannesburg, 2010
Silver gelatin print
86.5 x 60.5cm
© Zanele Muholi

Imaginary Fact: Contemporary South African Art and the Archive

Donna Kukama » Zanele Muholi » Sam Nhlengethwa » Andrew Putter » Athi-Patra Ruga » Penny Siopis » Sue Williamson » & others

Exhibition: 1 Jun – 24 Nov 2013

Venice Biennale - SOUTH AFRICA




Imaginary Fact: Contemporary South African Art and the Archive
Still image from "Rewind (Mrs Plaatjes)", by Gerhard Marx, Maja Marx and Philip Miller.

The exhibition aims to showcase artists who use materials of the past to comment on the contemporary. The exhibition is about the protection and preservation of South Africa national heritage and the symbols and artifacts of that heritage. It is also about using the arts to question and challenge the reading of the past, to reach a new understanding of it and to craft a new and inclusive narrative for the country. Gerhard Marx, Maja Marx and Philip Miller recall "The Truth and Reconciliation Commission", through the creation of an installation of seven films with audio; using the source material from their theatre production "Rewind: A Cantata for Voice, Tape and Testimony". James Webb translate and transform T.Rex's 1972 glam rock hit, "Children of the Revolution" into a South African protest song for choir. Zanele Muholi exhibits the entire archive to date, of her seminal "Faces and Phases".

In addition to the exhibition at Arsenale, the Pavilion presents a series of public performances to take place within public spaces of the city. Athi-Patra Ruga, Donna Kukama, Kemang wa Lehulere and Nelisiwe Xaba interrogates the critical concerns of contemporary archival practice. Kukama and wa Lehulere adapts existing work specifically for the occasion. Ruga presents his latest incantation of "The White Women of Azania", with 4 performers sourced from Venice, finally Xaba performs an extention of her Saartjie Baartman project, entitled "Venus in Venice".
Curator: Brenton Maart
Commissioner: Saul Molobi

Andrew Putter, Athi Patra Ruga, Cameron Platter, David Koloane, Donna Kukama, Gerhard Marx, Maja Marx, Philip Miller, James Webb, Joanne Bloch, Johannes Phokela, Kemang wa Lehulere, Nelisiwe Xaba, Penny Siopis, Sam Nhlengethwa, Sue Williamson, Wim Botha, Zanele Muholi